If you are like us it probably hasn’t quite sunk in yet, Kent is getting a new £5 billion Disneyland- style development (A figure that only 18 months ago was set at £3.5 billion). It is due to open in 2024 – Now the 5th time the date has been pushed back.
In May 2014, the park was given ‘nationally significant’ status, which meant that planning applications could go straight to the Secretary of State.
It will be the first of its kind in the UK and is set to feature more than 50 rides and attractions, as well as 2,000-seat theatre. It is expected to attract 40,000 visitors a day (nearby Bluewater Shopping Centre attracts on average over 70,000 visitors a day). Ticket admission is likely to be around £57.
However, the project has been hit by delays and setbacks – various changes have been made to the design and opening date.
Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi, also chairman and owner of Ebbsfleet United, is a significant investor in this project and has now taken a “personal role” in the management of London Resort Company Holdings, the firm behind theme park proposals for north Kent.
What will the park offer?
The original plan was to be in conjunction with Paramount Films and be an 872-acre theme park resort will include rides, rollercoasters, a theatre, retail and food outlets, hotels and a nightclub. Since the split, the plans now are seven million square feet of land broken into two theme parks celebrating brands from across literature, television, music, film and entertainment. It will create 33,000 jobs (Bluewater shopping centre, again as a useful comparison, employs 7,000 people).
A range of hotels including flexible space capable of hosting conferences, exhibitions and events will also be built.
The park will be accessible via train, just 17 minutes from London St Pancras, plus Eurostar links to Paris and Brussels.