Plans to develop a new £2 billion world class entertainment destination on the Swanscombe Peninsula, North Kent, have been unveiled by a consortium of leading UK and international companies.
The new development will transform the 872 acre brown field site into one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe, creating up to 27,000 jobs and integrating the development into the local communities of Dartford and Gravesham.
Development vehicle London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) has signed an agreement with Paramount Licensing, the licensing division for Hollywood-based Paramount Pictures, to give exclusive UK licensing for a Paramount entertainment resort at the heart of the site.
The agreement does not include investment from Paramount Licensing in the project.
LRCH is also in negotiations with a range of major British brands to sign licensing agreements.
LRCH has assembled a development team which includes Development Securities, a leading development and investment company, the principal land owner Lafarge, and super scale construction company Brookfield Multiplex.
The team is supported by a host of leading consultants and operators who will help deliver the scheme.
At the core of the proposed development is Europe’s leading entertainment destination, with a Paramount-branded entertainment resort and leisure district providing the highest quality visitor experience.
The entertainment district will feature Europe’s largest indoor water park, theatres, live music venues, attractions, cinemas, restaurants, event space and hotels.
An independent feasibility study has suggested that the entertainment destination will draw in many additional tourists to the UK each year, making a significant contribution to the economy.
The site is on the doorstep of Ebbsfleet International station, which will provide a 17 minute journey time into London, and a two hour journey to Paris.
Tony Sefton, project leader for LRCH, said: “Our vision is to create a world class entertainment destination, the first of its kind in the UK.
“We are at the start of a long journey, but have been encouraged by the support and buy-in we have had to date.
“We are particularly pleased with the appetite we are seeing from investors, who consider this a compelling investment proposition.”
He continued: “Post Olympics, this is Britain’s next major regeneration opportunity.
“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.
“Our timetable for delivery, including the planning application process and construction timetable, is geared towards completion and opening in 2018.”
LRCH have been working closely with both Dartford and Gravesham Borough Councils, who have both offered support for the project.
In a joint statement, Jeremy Kite, leader of Dartford Borough Council and John Burden, leader of Gravesham Borough Council, said: “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.”