Site plan for the proposed park
|Location||London Resort, Swanscombe, Kent, England|
|Owner||London Resort Company Holdings|
|Operated by||London Resort Company Holdings|
|Previous names||Paramount Kent, Paramount Pictures Theme Park|
|Area||872 acres (353 ha)|
London Paramount Entertainment Resort (commonly referred to as London Paramount) is a proposed theme park for the London Resort in Swanscombe, Kent. The project was announced on 8 October 2012 and it was estimated to open by around 2023. In June 2017, it was announced that Paramount had pulled out of the project. However, London Resort Company Holdings still insist the project is going ahead.
The park was to feature Europe's largest indoor water park, theatres, live music venues, attractions, cinemas, restaurants, event space and hotels. Allied to the project would be a training academy for the entertainment and hospitality sectors, a new country park, a large science and education visitor complex and "the biggest performing arts centre in Europe". The name of the park was announced as the London Paramount Entertainment Resort.
The developer said that the theme of the park would have an emphasis on Britain and Kent, however the attractions were likely to be based on films and entertainment properties owned by the licensor of the park's name, Paramount Pictures. Once fully open, the park and related enterprises would have employed 27,000 persons.
The project had received both positive and negative reactions in Kent. A commentary in the London Evening Standard in October 2012 called into question the commitment of some of the development partners, namely landowner Lafarge Tarmac, builder Brookfield Construction and property company Development Securities. However, on 10 December 2012 the project received a boost after securing the services of Chris Townsend, as its commercial director. Townsend performed the same role for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games on behalf of the London 2012 Summer Olympics and is charged with attracting investors for debt and equity funding.
The plans for the park received considerable backing from the British government when Paramount London became the first commercial venture to be awarded Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project status allowing the developers to bypass local planning requirements.
The themed lands planned for the park include:
- Adventure Isle
- Land of Legends
- Cartoon Circus
- Starfleet Command
- Action Square
- Port Paramount
- Entertainment City
BBC, Aardman and BFI, British Film Institute, have been attached to the proposal and have signed a deal with Paramount. This is in hope that the park will showcase Hollywood and British culture.
The site straddles the border of the Dartford and Gravesham boroughs and both authorities have pledged their support. In July 2014 the first community consultation was held with a short series of exhibitions in the area around the peninsula.
The timetable for delivery, including the planning application process and construction timetable, is geared towards completion and opening in 2019. A planning application to Dartford Borough Council is expected to be made in 2015. The project leader is Tony Sefton of London Resort Company Holdings.
In April 2013 newspaper reports claimed development may be delayed by the discovery of a rare species of spider. Mr. Sefton pledged to remove the colony of distinguished jumping spiders (Attulus distinguendus) to another suitable site.
The following month, the Kent Messenger reported that plans for the theme park could be endangered if a new lower Thames road crossing is sited over the Swanscombe Peninsula and quoted Mr. Sefton as saying "It could really scupper plans. We are in the final throes of negotiating a very large investment and this makes it very difficult." However, the proposal was rejected in December of that year.
After Paramount withdrew from the project, London Resort Company Holdings insisted the project would continue as planned but without the Paramount brand. Universal Studios are reportedly in talks to take over the project as their first European park, but this is unconfirmed.
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