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Theme park plans formerly backed by Paramount given £25 million investment as Keltbray Group joins venture

By Lynn Cox

A new investor has promised to put £25 million into long-running plans for an entertainment resort set to cost £5 billion.

Engineering and construction group Keltbray is poised to inject the cash to the theme park plans, originally set to be based around the films of Hollywood studio Paramount Pictures.

The company has formed a joint venture with the project's original backers London Resort Company Holdings, bankrolled by Ebbsfleet United owner Dr Abdullah Al Humaidi.

How the entry gate to was meant to look when the park was originally planned
How the entry gate to was meant to look when the park was originally planned

The move brings new expertise to the porposals for the resort, set to be built on the Swanscombe Peninsula between Gravesend and Dartford.

Keltbray's previous work includes the 2012 Olympic Park, Earls Court and Crossrail. This year it rose to 36 in the Sunday Times Top 250 Companies.

The resort was originally going to be inspired by Paramount Pictures, with the film studio lending its name to the resort’s rides and attractions.

However, developers made a shock split with Paramount last year but said cutting ties with the Hollywood giants would not affect its goal to submit a planning application.

London Resort Company Holdings first revealed plans for the project in 2012.

Artistic impression of how the London Resort park was meant to look
Artistic impression of how the London Resort park was meant to look

London Resort Company Holdings chairman Steve Norris said: "We are delighted to welcome Keltbray to this most exciting project.

"We have been discussing for some time the best way to harness their specialist construction industry expertise alongside their ability to act as a catalyst for further industry participation and investment.

"Over the next five years, this project will become one of the largest construction projects in the UK and their involvement takes us a significant step closer to delivering a world class resort.”

The London Resort aims to combine the very best of entertainment in a single resort location.

The world’s finest theme park engineers and designers will collaborate with the best of British and international brands to create a resort of global appeal.

Former artists impressions of how the theme park was meant to look
Former artists impressions of how the theme park was meant to look

The huge £5 billion investment will transform seven million square feet of land into two theme parks celebrating brands from across literature, television, music, film and entertainment and will create 30,000 jobs.

The Keltbray Group delivers about £425m a year of services to some of the most prestigious projects in the UK in both public and private sector markets.

Keltbray chief executive Brendan Kerr added: "Keltbray is recognised in the industry as an enabler of projects.

"It has long prided itself on its ability to manage the most challenging of projects thanks to its investment in training, design and plant.

"At seven million square feet, this new theme park won’t be an easy project but that is why the formulation of this joint venture with LRCH is an ideal partnership.

"We’re delighted to be involved in what I’m sure will provide a significant boost to both employment and tourism in the UK.”

London Resort Company Holdings chief executive Humphrey Percy added: “We have, to date invested over £60m and are delighted to welcome our new partners to the project.

"We are very much looking forward to progressing further with the project in the next months and to submitting our planning application in 2019.”

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