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Paramount Park: Ebbsfleet United owners Kuwaiti European Holdings own 75% of London Resort Company Holdings leading £2bn plans for Swanscombe

22 May 2014
by Chris Price

The Middle-East-based owners of Ebbsfleet United also own around three quarters of the company behind the Paramount Park project, it has emerged.

About a 75% stake of London Resort Company Holdings is owned by Kuwaiti European Holdings Company, whose subsidiary KEH Sports Limited runs Ebbsfleet United.

In October it was revealed the company had invested a “seven-figure sum” in the venture to create a £2bn Disney-style theme park on the Swanscombe Peninsula.

Ebbsfleet United chairman Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi, right, with director David Testa

Ebbsfleet United chairman Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi, right, with director David Testa

It is understood the Kuwaiti consortium wanted to take ownership of London Resort Company Holdings to ensure the project was driven forward.

The venture – set to create 27,000 jobs – gained special status earlier this month allowing it to apply for planning permission directly to central government, bypassing authorities at Gravesham and Dartford borough councils.

KEH also holds a licence for the park with Paramount Licensing.

At present, it is understood London Resort Company Holdings is in negotiations about acquiring land on the peninsula with its current owners – the French cement manufacturer Lafarge Tarmac and FTSE100 developer Land Securities.

A graphic of how Paramount Park on Swanscombe Peninsula might look

A graphic of how Paramount Park on Swanscombe Peninsula might look

The 872-acre Paramount Park is expected to open in the first half of 2019.

KEH was established in August 2008 to invest in real estate, tourism, health care and the wellness industry.

Its subsidiary KEH Sports rescued Ebbsfleet United from financial meltdown in May last year, buying it from the fan-owned MyFootballClub venture.

Its chief executive Dr Abdulla Al Humaidi is the chairman of Ebbsfleet United.

No one from the company would comment further.

Paramount Park would be built on the Swanscombe Peninsula

Paramount Park would be built on the Swanscombe Peninsula

A public consultation on Paramount Park is expected to begin in the coming months after it was dubbed a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) by the communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles.

Mr Pickles said the project is “likely to have significant economic impact... on an area wider than a single local authority”.

The move has the support of Dartford Borough Council, Gravesham Borough Council and Kent County Council.

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