UK firms oppose $3.6bn Kuwait-backed theme park

Up to 100 British companies have hit out at plans for the 352ha London Paramount Entertainment Resort, which is fully funded by Kuwaiti European Holding Group (KEH)

Up to 100 British firms have opposed a Kuwait-backed theme park in London.
Up to 100 British firms have opposed a Kuwait-backed theme park in London.

Around 100 British businesses have hit out at plans for a $3.6bn Kuwaiti-owned, Paramount-branded theme park which they claim will force them having to relocate their businesses and could result in the loss of thousands of jobs, it was reported.

In May 2015, the Peninsula Management Group (PMG) was set up and consisted of companies located in north Kent which will have to be relocated in order to make way for the planned resort.

The London Paramount Entertainment Resort, which was launched in October 2012 and is being fully funded by the Kuwaiti European Holding (KEH) Group, will be located on an 352ha site on Kent’s Swanscombe peninsula, and is due to start construction in Autumn 2016.

To make way for the park, businesses located in the Manor Way Business Park in Swanscombe, the Northfleet Industrial Estate and the Kent Kraft Estate in Northfleet will have to relocate to new premises.

The project was designated as ‘Nationally Significant’ in May 2014 by the UK's Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and, as a result, developers will be able to use compulsory purchase orders to force the businesses out of make way for their project.

“It is unlikely any suitable empty industrial properties or sites are available in the immediate vicinity to accommodate this number of businesses unless the local authorities start to make an urgent allocation within their plans,” PMG director Doug Hilton was quoted as saying by the Kent Business news website.

London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH), the company behind the park’s plans, had previously stated the attraction would generate up to 27,000 new jobs for the area, but the PMG claimed complicated related to the relocation issue could result in the loss of 5,000 jobs.

“If it destroys all these jobs before it even starts then the theme park will simply not be creating anywhere near the number of employment opportunities it has so far claimed,” Hilton said.

However, LRCH director Fenlon Dunphy said: “We are doing everything we can to ensure this process runs as smoothly as possible.

"We are working hard to ensure businesses can be given the best opportunities for relocation and therefore jobs are transferred rather than lost.

“While we appreciate that some people are concerned about possible job losses, London Paramount will be a long-term provider of up to 27,000 jobs in local boroughs as well as in the wider county and South East.”

Despite the PMG’s concerns, the plans for the park were given a ringing endorsement by local residents in the latest round of public consultations.

According to Arabian Business, the key source of inspiration for the resort is a licensing agreement with Paramount Licencing Inc, giving LRCH exclusive rights to use Paramount’s intellectual property in the UK, including films such as The Godfather, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Mission Impossible, Star Trek, The Italian Job, and Titanic. 

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