Penicuik sponsors Edinburgh Zoo penguins

Zack Jordan watches Mona the penguin meet Penicuik's Kenny and Penny
Zack Jordan watches Mona the penguin meet Penicuik's Kenny and Penny
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IF you catch Edinburgh Zoo’s world-famous penguins when they’re next out on parade, you might notice a little spring in their step – they’ve just had a £40,000 cash injection.

Bosses at Penicuik Home Improvements – which fittingly has the penguin as its corporate emblem – have stepped in with the money as part of a two-year sponsorship deal to ensure the attraction’s most high-profile feathered inhabitants are kept in “top-notch” conditions, while also underpinning global conservation efforts.

Although none of the zoo’s king, gentoo or rockhopper penguins are about to be branded with Penicuik’s company colours, leaders at the attraction said visitors would be left in no doubt over the identity of their new backers.

Rebecca Whitley, sponsorship manager for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) at Edinburgh Zoo, said: “It’ll be more subtle but people visiting the zoo will definitely get the point that Penicuik are supporting us.”

Despite the substantial cash investment, it will be a case of business as usual for the Capital’s penguins, which will still be released once a day for their wander round the zoo.

But Ms Whitley said the home improvement firm’s “powered by Penicuik” slogan would appear on its public map and timeline of daily events, as well as the zoo website.

The new sponsorship deal marks the latest chapter in the history of Edinburgh Zoo’s penguin enclosure, which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, and an overhaul.

But although they run one of the world’s best-known wildlife centres, zoo bosses said they were far from complacent about funding. “We are one of many organisations that relies on voluntary and charitable support from companies and donors,” said Ms Whitley. Adding: “We’re a well-known brand but it’s always a fight to get help.”

Bosses at Penicuik – best-known as a seller of double glazing but also well established as a provider of boilers, solar panels and other energy products – said they were delighted to be able to help secure the penguins’ future for the next two years.

Ann Gibb, the firm’s marketing director, said: “Let’s face it, double glazing isn’t the sexiest product in the world. This is about trying to do something a bit softer, a bit nicer.”