A HIGHBRIDGE animal rescue centre has successfully bid for a share of Somerset County Council's £500,000 Business Restart and Recovery Programme fund.

Secret World Wildlife Rescue was awarded a total of £13,310 from the council's fund after it remained open during the pandemic to help sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. 

The centre admitted thousands of creatures and helped many more using an advice line for people unable to bring animals to the rescue centre.

The animal welfare charity uses its work with animals to educate the public on how they can help and support wildlife. 

The centre also holds public open weekends and events, which attract local people and visitors, providing wider benefits to the community.

Its fundraising was hit by Covid restrictions, particularly as it could not hold its popular open weekends that help provide income for the charity.

Secret World Wildlife Rescue fundraising officer David Plant said: "We are so grateful.

"During these uncertain times, it is reassuring to know we have this support, and we hope 2022 will be a brighter, more successful year because of this."

The Somerset Business Restart and Recovery Programme launched at the end of summer 2021 and supports businesses affected by the pandemic and successive lockdowns. 

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: NATURE: Two sparrow chicks are fed at the animal welfare charity (Image: Secret World Wildlife Rescue)NATURE: Two sparrow chicks are fed at the animal welfare charity (Image: Secret World Wildlife Rescue)

Beneficiaries include organisations that did not fit neatly into the Government's Covid support programmes, such as multi-purpose venues, heritage attractions, and food and craft events that showcase local produce and attract locals and tourists.

Councillor David Hall, cabinet member for the economy, planning and community infrastructure, said: "I am delighted that we have been able to support Secret World Wildlife Rescue during these very difficult times.

"It plays an important part in the area’s appeal as a destination for visitors.

"The fund is playing an important part in helping Somerset’s hard-hit businesses and attractions survive the impact of the pandemic."

The grant scheme was part of a wider package of funding to support Somerset’s economy to recover from the impacts of Covid-19. 

A second round of the Somerset Business Restart and Recovery Programme is due to be launched in 2022 to support businesses and organisations that missed out on support or are still experiencing difficulty.