Following Paramount Licensing’s recent withdrawal from the planned £3.2 billion ($4bn/€3.6bn) entertainment resort in North Kent near London, the leader of Medway Council has stated his belief that new opportunities may arise.
Developer London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) insists the resort is on track to open by 2022. Plans for the project call for a world-class theme park, cinemas, nightclubs, conference and exhibition space. Located on on the Swanscombe Peninsula alongside the River Thames, the 535 acre (216 hectare) site proposed is just 17 minutes from London St Pancras station by high speed rail and around 2 hours from Paris and Brussels.
“I believe that the dissolution of the partnership with Paramount should be seen as a chance to expand the resort’s potential, by bringing in global brands that would otherwise have been excluded by the tie to a single partner,” says council leader Alan Jarrett, representing the Medway Conservatives.
This statement echoes a comment made to Blooloop by a LRCH spokesman, who stated Paramount’s ‘umbrella’ branding of the resort was discouraging other intellectual property (IP) providers coming on board. Agreements remain in place with BBC Worldwide and Aardman, producer of Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep.
Opposition councillors express concern over LRCH plans
Medway Council’s opposition Labour group, however, said it was concerned thousands of proposed jobs were at risk following the collapse of the deal with Paramount.
“It is in Medway’s economic interests that this project makes it off the drawing board and finally becomes a reality,” states regeneration spokesman Andy Stamp. “However, the withdrawal of Paramount places a big question mark over the viability of the project, and may not give potential investors the confidence they need to put their money where their mouth is. The project urgently requires a new high-profile partner to give the proposals both credibility and distinction.”
“We need look no further than the demise of Dickens World to see what happens when developers get it wrong,” adds Medway Labour group leader, Vince Maple.
Artist’s impression of the proposed London resort, courtesy LRCH