The BBC is going to build a theme park in Kent. People are reacting with utter astonishment to the news.
Plans include rides based on the UK’s favourite shows, like Top Gear and Dr Who, a monorail connecting Ebbsfleet International Train Station with the resort, and a 5,000-room hotel. (Will there be a spooky “Tunnel of Jeremy Clarkson” rollercoaster? It’s unconfirmed.)
According to The Telegraph, BBC Worldwide has now signed a deal with London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) and the “London Paramount Entertainment Resort” is set to open in 2020.
Landscapers CBA Studios says the scheme has a budget of £2 billion and will be one of the largest entertainment districts in Europe. The planners describe it as “film based” and programmes will be its predominant feature. However, alongside the likes of Jeremy Clarkson’s cars and low-budget sci-fi, a water park, theatres, music venues, and events spaces are also part of the project.
BBC Worldwide’s Stephen Davies tells The Telegraph that “the resort is a really exciting way of celebrating the very special place the BBC has in British culture.”
And LRCH director David Testa adds: “We are delighted to bring the world’s leading public service broadcaster on board this project”.
CBA explains the resort will “transform 870 acres” of brownfield land on the Swanscombe Peninsular, just south east of London in north Kent. It will be a “significant contribution to urban regeneration and environmental improvement”, it says.
The BBC put extended plans for the theme park on show this month as part of its public consultation. London Paramount Entertainment Resort is expected to create 27,000 jobs, and attract 15 million visitors by its fourth year of opening. Kent Online even notes its 2-hour population catchment is the same size of Disneyland Paris.
The theme park will be the first of its kind in the UK, inspired somewhat by similar Hollywood-styled resorts.
London Paramount explains there will be 12 major rides — so it could be that you’re riding in a Tardis or solving a mystery with Sherlock in the near future.
Here’s a timeline of the project:
And here’s a rendering of what the whole resort will look like:
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