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£2bn Paramount theme park set for north Kent

Brookfield Multiplex has joined an international consortium on the planned development of an 872-acre brownfield site on the Swanscombe Peninsula in a move that is expected to generate 27,000 local jobs.

Paramount film studios has signed an exclusive UK licensing agreement with developer London Resort Company Holdings for an entertainment resort “at the heart of the site”, although Paramount has no plans to invest in the development.

LRCH is in talks with several major British brands on additional licensing agreements.

The consortium includes development and investment firm Development Securities, principal landowner Lafarge and “a host of leading consultants and operators”.

The planned entertainment district on the site is set to feature Europe’s largest indoor water park as well as theatres, live music venues, cinemas, restaurants, event space, attractions and hotels.

The developers say the site would be one of Europe’s largest regeneration projects and would also draw many more tourists to the UK each year. The peninsula is close to Ebbsfleet International station which offers a 17 minute journey into London and a two hour journey to Paris.

Project leader for LRCH Tony Sefton said his vision is create “a world class entertainment destination, the first of its kind in the UK”. 

The consortium is “at the start of a long journey” but has been buoyed by interest received so far, he added, and is “particularly pleased with the appetite we are seeing from investors, who consider this a compelling investment proposition ”.

“Post Olympics, this is Britain’s next major regeneration opportunity,” he said. “Over the next 12-18 months we will be progressing the planning application, while embarking on a wide-reaching programme of community consultation, while securing further commercial agreements with third parties.”

LRCH has been working closely with Dartford and Gravesham Borough Councils which have both given their support to the project.

Jeremy Kite, leader of Dartford Borough Council and John Burden, leader of Gravesham Borough Council, said in a joint statement: “This development represents a tremendous economic growth opportunity for the region. We have been impressed by LRCH’s commitment to integrating the development with the local community, recognising the many economic and social benefits it promises to deliver.”

Completion and opening of the development is slated for 2018.

Expected benefits

  • 27,000 jobs supported in the community, many of which will include young people, apprenticeships, older workers and skilled jobs
  • A UK training academy for the entertainment and hospitality industries
  • Apartments for the site’s key workers
  • A policy of supporting the local economy, for example sourcing local Kent-produce
  • A new country park for the community
  • The largest single-site science and Education visitor facilities in Europe, generating 1 million subsidised local educational visits annually
  • A local base for manufacture and sale of leisure products
  • The biggest performing arts centre in Europe
  • Re-use of some Olympic infrastructure
  • An emphasis on British and Kent character
  • Utilising the 1,000 year history of Gravesend and Dartford
  • LRCH is pursuing a strategy which will seek to mitigate the impact of the project on the highway network
  • Acting as a tourism portal for Kent and London

Site facts

  • The Swanscombe Peninsula, together with a significant part of Ebbsfleet, offers:
  • 872 acres
  • The highest level of public transport arrivals of any major leisure resort in the world
  • 17-minute journey by train from St Pancras International Station
  • New rail links from Crossrail and ultimately HS2 will further improve connectivity
  • Proximity to the M25 and A2, and M20

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