John Regan Associates Limited is a specialist provider working with biodiversity driven sites (zoos, botanic gardens, parks, aquaria, etc.) and their partner universities.

We assist in strategic planning, concept development, partnership formation, public affairs and fund raising.

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What do we do?

John Regan Associates Limited is a specialist provider working with biodiversity driven sites (zoos, gardens, parks, aquaria, etc.) and their partner universities.

We assist in strategic planning, concept development, partnership formation, public affairs and fund raising.

The National Bio Parc concept

This is a new approach pursued with authorities in Morocco, Viet Nam, Colombia, Cyprus and elsewhere. It looks to establish hybrid institutions of national prominence merging financially sustainable visitor sites with centres for important science research.  Crucially each National Bio Parc offers a global projection of that nation’s potential in many distinct criticalareas associated with bio-science and the environment. It looks to forge new research relationships with leading UK universities and to explore the potential to draw research and economic development funding from UK sources.


In addition to the above nations, we have been contracted by the Government of Japan for a parallel initiative in connection to regenerate the Fukushima Prefecture.

We welcome enquiries on a similar basis from other national government or associated interests.

Botanic Gardens

We work with botanic gardens and other green sites operated by universities. We explore ways in which these ‘gardens’ can offer a wider array of services & public goods beyond traditional associations and attract greater capital and revenue funding.  We are interested in the potential for these (perhaps overlooked) assets to stimulate a more creative appetite for their services across a spread of university areas and for society in general and so escape the potentially limiting associations of the expression ‘botanic garden.’

We also welcome interest from Universities and local government curious as to the potential to set up ambitious new environmentally themed public venues.

‘The Science Zoos’

Historically we work with zoos and wildlife venues on fundraising with a particular emphasis on large capital projects

John was formerly Director of Development and Fundraising for Chester Zoo, and set up its first development department and  its world famous fundraising programmes. He has some 28 years experience in funding issues. He negotiated $3 million sponsorship from Jaguar Cars, initiating the ‘Superzoo’ dialogue with NWDA, and was instrumental in lobbying for the recouping of VAT tax owed to UK zoos. We assisted Twycross Zoo with a £1.2 million grant from HSBC and won £3 million to establish the Himalaya project. More recently the Welsh Mountain Zoo has benefit from a package of grants and gifts approaching £400,000 towards its snow leopard exhibit.

‘The Science Zoos’ looks to position leading English zoos with a special focus on biodiversity and commanding large loyal audiences as having a specific role in UK society and unique relationship with the Westminster Government.

We currently work intensively with the National Zoological Society of Wales/ Welsh Mountain Zoo, Twycross Zoo and Knowsley Safari Park.

Who are John Regan Associates ( trading internationally under ‘Bio Parc Concepts International’)?


Bio Parc Concepts International team

In response to particular projects and specific client needs we bring together professional of the highest possible global standing, listed below in alphabetical order. Mike Maunder and John Regan are central to all projects.

Professor Simon Anholt: Simon is an independent policy advisor developing and implement national strategies for enhanced economic, political and cultural engagement with other countries. These strategies are typically in the areas of national identity and reputation, public diplomacy, cultural policy and cultural relations, regional integration, immigration and related areas of social policy, sustainability, educational policy, trade, export promotion, tourism, security and defence, foreign direct investment, talent attraction and major international events.  He is the author of numerous book including Competitive Identity (Palgrave Macmillan 2007); Places (Palgrave Macmillan 2010); and The Good Country Equation (Berrett-Koehler 2020).

Professor Paul Bardos (Fukushima Phoenix project, Japan) : Paul is a globally acknowledged expert on contaminated land and waste management, regeneration of brownfield sites, renewables and sustainability, environmental information dissemination; regeneration of brownfields for bioenergy and green infrastructure.

Mr Brian Child (Advisor on multiple projects) : Brian was  CEO of McCann Erickson North and Chair of Momentum Europe. He advises on marketing, communicational and presentational dimensions of of projects.

Sir Martin Davidson ( part of the Bio Parc Colombia team and advisor on all international projects) was CEO of the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relation. He is currently Chairman of the Great Britain China Centre. He provides board level advice to a small number of organisations with an interest in China and international education. Martin brings a very senior perspective on government-to-government issues and overall strategic approach.

Mr Neil Kemsley (Bio Parc Mediterranean on Cyprus and other projects) :  Neil was formerly Regional Agent of the Bank of England.  His work in the Bank covered economic issues and, international financial and economic issues. Neil was later instrumental in setting up and later chairing the Merseyside Special Investment Fund to disburse EC Structural Funds. He also advised on the setting up of similar schemes in Cornwall and Yorkshire. Neil served on the Council of the University of Liverpool, acting as its Deputy Treasurer.

Dr Mike Maunder (central to multiple projects): Mike’s ‘day job’ is as the Executive Director of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative and sits within the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School. He acts as a board member of the Mohammed Bin Zayed Conservation Fund, chaired by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. He was recently Executive Director Life Sciences of the Eden Project and Senior Consultant to Eden International. He has consulted to the Dubai Expo and the Dubai Museum of Tomorrow. He was recently Vice-Chair of Flora & Fauna International and is the former Executive Director of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Florida. Mike has a worldwide reputation bringing together the fields of biodiversity and the management of complex nature related visitor attractions.

Professor Sir William Wakeham (for Bio Parc Maghreb): Bill was formerly Vice Chancellor of the University of Southampton. He is a Visiting Professor at Imperial College and on the Board of the Engineering and Physical Research Council (UK’s research funding body). Amongst many other senior roles, past and present, he is a member of the European Union’s expert panel on philanthropy and universities. He is UK Chair of the British-Italian Partnership Programme.

Dr Mark Pilgrim was to recently CEO of Chester Zoo, UK’s most visited biodiversity attraction where, for over a decade, he was responsible for overall strategy and the Zoo’s physical master planning. Critically this included delivery of his personal vision, ‘Islands’: a £42m zoo expansion project, successfully increasing annual number of visitors from 1.6 million in 2015 to an unprecedented over 2 million in 2019. Under Mark’s leadership the annual charitable surplus of this non-profit organisation rose to the region of £9 million. 

As the vice chairman of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) and holder of numerous other international roles, Mark is one of the most respected experts in the world in his fields and sits at the centre of a vast network of colleague expertise..

Other high level  individuals, who not operate professionally within Bio Parcs international/ JRA, but are kind enough to bring various crucial dimensions to specific projects and whom we wish to acknowledge here include:

Professor Sir Drummond Bone (all projects) : Drummond is Chair of the Arts & Humanities Research Council (UK funding agency). He was Pro-Vice Chancellor for Oxford University and Master of Balliol College until April 2018. He previously served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool from 2002 to 2008, and Principal of  Royal Holloway, University of London. He also served as President of Universities UK and as the inaugural President of BIAZA.

What Our Clients Say

“John Regan is a most tenacious person in lobbying for external funding of zoo activities that have a bearing on society. He is able to access influencers and champions at the highest levels. With these connections and his wide knowledge base he has been impressively successful in securing funding for capital projects in zoos. John is one of those persons who have been able to convince decision makers, that zoos matter.”

– Hans Van Weerd, general curator Melbourne zoo, zoos Victoria

“In assisting zoos with identifying European and other funding opportunities for their education and conservation projects, John Regan provides a unique service. John is not only very experienced when it comes to the business and funding side of zoological operations, but he is also very capable of finding connections between what we do (or want to do) and the programs and thinking at EU and government levels. It also helps that he is a nice guy to work with.”

– Harry Schram, formerly Executive Director, EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquariums)

“John’s work has been quite complete covering the main issues of the work assigned. He has been quite helpful not only during the project, but also afterwards with more details about the issues. He really knows about the business.”

– Roberto Guedes, Director na Zoo Santo Inacio, Portugal

“John provided European Zoos with advice on fundraising and marketing. I found him very helpful and competent and his advice was excellent. He is a great guy to work with.”

– Neil Stronach, Ecological consultant and former Director, Fota Wildlife Park, Ireland

“John is a very amiable person, which almost ‘masks’ his sharp intellect. He grasps your ‘subject’ very quickly and gives feed back fast and fully. He also provides answers and comments whenever you ask, no matter what erratic questions it may be. A great person to have by your side.”

– Hans-Ove Larsson, Skansen Zoo, Stockholm

“Here at the Eden Project we’ve been very fortunate to have known and worked with John over a number of years. John mixes his impressive knowledge of EU and UK funding with an amazing network of contacts to present us with some exciting opportunities. His ability to spot a gap or find the right angle to lever in funding or build new relationships with like minded organisations is incredibly beneficial to us and we hope to continue to work with John for many years to come”.

Dan James, Eden Project Cornwall

“Space for Giants was delighted by JRA’s support for the recent launch of our UK fundraising programme at the House of Lords just prior to Christmas. This event was hugely successful and completely oversubscribed, attended by giants of the political, philanthropic, media, business, academic and conservation world. We have immediately secured several large donations from generous supporters and are in the process of negotiating several further”.

– Dr Max Graham, Director, Space for Giants

“John is a highly accomplished fund raiser with a particular range of experience and skills that make him ideally suited to working with Zoos and Aquariums. He has an excellent track record of raising significant levels of funding for capital projects and I would recommend him highly if this was one of your organisations objectives.”

– Dave Gibson, Managing Director, National Marine Aquarium

“This is to record, briefly, BirdLife’s appreciation of the work that John Regan Associates did with us to raise funds for conservation of Tsitongambarika Forest in Madagascar. JRA staff had strong contact networks, worked effectively on complex logical frameworks and narrative proposals, ensured deadlines were met, responded promptly to correspondence and handled complex multi-institutional partnerships with great professionalism. The project is proceeding as I write thanks to approaches made by JRA to one of the foundations they had themselves identified.

Many thanks for the important role you played. I would not hesitate to recommend JRA to others in a similar position to ourselves”.

Document Downloads

  • How Skansen won its € 4 million Download

  • The sponsor’s perspective: interview with Sir Nick Scheele (former President of Ford Worldwide and Executive Chairman of Jaguar Cars) who negotiated the $3 million deal with John Regan Download Interview

  • This is a transcript of a 2011 debate in the UK parliament on the value of zoos in regional economic development Download

  • Record of parliamentary debate on role of zoos in economic development Download record

  • Eurodisney uk 2012-03-14 twenty year review of economic and social impact Download

  • 10 steps to successful financial sponsorship for conservation organisations, zoos, natural history sites and aquariums Download 10 Steps