Saturday, 30 March 2013

Plans unveiled for Paramount Studios London

“Britain’s largest post-Olympic regeneration opportunity” was promised by the project leader behind London Paramount, students at the University of Kent were told recently.
Speaking at a talk arranged by the Kent Business School, Tony Sefton, the project leader behind plans to build a £2bn theme park and entertainment resort in Kent, unveiled details ahead of a public consultation in June this year.
The project by London Resort Company Holdings, which if granted planning permission would open in 2018, includes a number of plans to develop “a new world-class entertainment destination.”
Unveiling the “Master Plan” for the park, which was code-named Project C to avoid leaks, Mr Sefton told students that the park would merge hotels, rides, event space and restaurants together to “utilise facilities” in order to create “the largest entertainment complex in the world.”
London Paramount will be situated on the Swanscombe Peninsular, and will consist of an entertainment district at the centre of the park, with rides, attractions and a water park spread around the entertainment plaza.
The theme park will be based on themes from different films, including romance & drama, comedy, family and action & adventure.
Speaking about the theme park, Mr Sefton said: “The park will have more rides and shows per hour than any other studio park in the world.”
“There will be five first class rollercoaster’s,” he added.
Films from Paramount Pictures that will feature as attractions include Mission Impossible, Tomb Raider, Titanic and Star Trek.
The theme park brand and theme has yet to be unveiled, however it is likely the park will feature heavily on British themes. Mr Sefton confirmed that the British Film Institute would be working with the project, with other partners to be announced in the future.
The main entertainment plaza of the park, which will be accessible to guests for just £5, will feature an array of attractions. This includes nine world-class experiences, a spectacular evening show, plaza shows every half hour, a daily carnival and two amazing play areas.
Other areas of the park planned include a Techno Expo, which Mr Sefton called “our version of Epcot”, which “will consist of 10,000 sq m of high tech attractions based around the best technology in the world.”
A 1,500 bed hotel, 150 food outlets and 10,000sq m of retail space will cater for more than 26,000 guests on peak days, with 7,000 staff on hand to manage facilities.
Guests will also benefit from “75% of the operating area being undercover” to cope with the British weather, as well as a revolutionary new queuing system which will ensure guests are not wasting their time in queues for their favourite rides.
Mr Sefton went on to confirm that the park would open all year round. “Business won’t be seasonal, there will be full time jobs”, he confirmed.
With “infrastructure key” to the project, Mr Sefton confirmed that lobbying was underway to extend Crossrail to the site to improve transport links into the city.
The park will be accessible by the current HS1 line, with trains taking just 17 minutes to travel into central London from Ebbsfleet International Station.
The station will also allow for visitors from further afield in Europe to travel to the park, which will open slightly later then most parks to avoid congestion on roads like the M25.
“Every customer is an entertainment customer”, Mr Sefton said as he stressed the importance of local communities and families to the project. The park has the backing of local MPs and councillors in Kent.
Talking specifically to students from the University of Kent, Mr Sefton said: “There are serious job prospects here for students, with hundreds of jobs available in many departments.”
Public consultation on London Paramount will begin in June. Although the scheme has not officially been given the go-ahead, Mr Sefton said he was “quite confident that it will go ahead.”
If planning is approved, the 872 acre park will start construction in 2015.
Tony Sefton, the project leader behind the plans, also unveiled that the project had come together as a result of a night-out in South Korea. When asked by one of the Kent Business Students how the project had been brought about, Mr Sefton said: “The ideas came together at a karaoke bar in South Korea four years ago”.

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