LONDON, United Kingdom. Sky News. October 8, 2012. (English). -Plans are unveiled for a £2bn entertainment project in the Thames Estuary, creating an estimated 27,000 full-time jobs. Plans for a theme park in the Thames Estuary to rival Disneyland Paris have been unveiled.
The £2bn development scheme for the Swanscombe Peninsula is set to be built on the brownfield site of what was once Europe’s largest cement works. The proposed park is led by a consortium including French cement firm Lafarge, Britain’s Development Securities and Canadian constructor Brookfield Multiplex. The trio has set up London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) to bring a Paramount Pictures park to fruition. It said LRCH has signed a licensing deal with Paramount for the Hollywood studio’s first UK theme park on the 872-acre site. Paramount owns rights to numerous blockbuster films – including Titanic, Transformers, Braveheart and The Italian Job – which could be turned into themed rides and experiences. Project manager Tony Sefton told Sky’s Eamonn Holmes: “We haven’t seen anything like this in the UK before. “Job-wise this is very exciting. The direct jobs in phase one is 27,000 and that will be full-time jobs when we open. “We will announce the number of construction jobs shortly.” Mr Sefton said the consortium has learned a great deal from the rehabilitation of industrial land for the Olympic Games park. He said the task should be easier at the north Kent venue, located between Gravesend and Dartford, as the soil was mainly clay-based and easy to landscape.
Located adjacent to the to the Ebbsfleet International rail station, visitors could reach the venue in 17 minutes from St Pancras in central London. Plans for the site include a water park, an entertainment area with hotels and restaurants, music venues and event space. The theme park is expected to surround the other areas in a crescent shape at the end of the peninsula. “We are very lucky and we are going to learn from the amazing Olympics and the games-makers,” Mr Sefton said. “We are planning to get the project open by 2018, that is the challenge, and we are three years into the journey.” The consortium is seeking global investors to back the project and plans to approach the Government over infrastructure expense assistance.