The developer behind plans for a $3.6 billion Kuwaiti-owned theme park set to be built near London has signed a deal with ITV Studios, while at the same time has ended a previously announced link up with Aardman Animations, the creators of Wallace and Gromit.
The London Resort, which was launched in October 2012 by the London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) and is being backed by the Kuwaiti European Holding (KEH) Group, is located on a 535-acre site on Kent’s Swanscombe peninsula, just 17 minutes on the train from Central London.
Aardman Animations announced a deal with the park’s developers in 2015, but it was confirmed at the weekend that this partnership had expired and was not being renewed.
“Aardman are no longer a partner in the project. LRCH’s partnerships are under continuous review and when the agreement with Aardman expired both parties decided not to renew the partnership,” a LRCH spokesperson told Arabian Business.
However, LRCH revealed it had struck a deal with ITV Studios, the British broadcaster behind popular programmes such as Coronation Street, I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! and This Morning.
"We are thrilled to be on board with this world class project, which will offer fans a whole new way to experience our brand,” Steve Green, executive vice president for Kids Content and Distribution, ITV Studios Global Entertainment, said in a press release issued by LRCH.
“ITV Studios creates more than TV, building global franchises loved by generations of families, and we look forward to seeing one of our biggest global brands brought to life on such a grand scale right here in the UK."
The theme park was previously named the London Paramount Entertainment Resort when it was launched, but the partnerships with the Hollywood studio ended in June 2017.
The park still has an existing agreement with the BBC and LRCH said it was in talks with other broadcasters and studios for potential partnerships.
“We are in advanced discussions with a range of UK and international companies including high-profile entertainment brands, and we will announce these as they come on board,” the LRCH spokesperson said.
The park was originally set to start construction in 2016 but this has been delayed due to the changes in recent years.
“There will be a further round of consultation on the project later this year. Subject to planning approval, construction will begin in 2021 and the first phase of the London Resort will open to the public in 2024,” the spokesperson added.
LRCH estimates the park will create around 3,500 hotel rooms and over 30,000 jobs for the local community.