Dudley Zoo chairlift to reopen after work

The iconic chairlift at Dudley Zoo will reopen to the public within weeks, after being out of use for 12 years. Refurbishment of the lift started in May.

Dudley Zoo and Castle

The iconic chairlift at Dudley Zoo will reopen to the public within weeks, after being out of use for 12 years. Refurbishment of the lift started in May.

It will be completed by the end of July, bosses have said.

Around £100,000 is being spent on the project, which included shot-blasting and painting of the 42 chairs and refitting all 76 wheels in the roller mechanism.

It comes as the zoo invests around £3 million in projects to improve the 40-acre site over the next four years.

A new £40,000 walk-through Penguin Bay attraction housing the zoo’s 60-strong group of rare Humboldt penguins has already been opened.

Zoo chief executive Peter Suddock said: “One of the most common questions we are asked by national and overseas visitors is ‘When’s the chairlift going to be running?’ so we are very well aware that the refurbishm-ent will create lots of interest.”

Scaffolding is currently surrounding the lift, which will be painted over the next six weeks.The chairlift was opened in 1958.

The design is similar to those in ski resorts and one of three in the UK with the others in Derbyshire and the Isle of Wight. Although there were no accidents the chairlift was closed amid fears someone could fall out of one of the single-seat chairs or tamper with the mechanism.