Published: 09:35, 18 October 2013
The Kuwaiti owners of Ebbsfleet United have thrown their financial weight behind plans for a £2billion entertainment complex in Kent.
Kuwaiti European Holdings (KEH) has made a multi-million pound investment in the Paramount Park scheme proposed for the Swanscombe Peninsula.
Sources close to the UK developer London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH), which is spearheading the project, would not disclose the amount but acknowledged it is "a seven-figure sum". The company declined to comment.
The move is seen as a vote of confidence for the complex licensed by the Hollywood film giant. It is hoped it will encourage other potential investors.
KEH was founded in 2008 and specialises in property investment in the Middle East and Europe.
Its subsidiary KEH Sports rescued Ebbsfleet United from financial meltdown back in May, buying it from the MyFootballClub venture.
The club's chairman, Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi, is also chief executive of the Kuwaiti European Holding Company.
It is understood the investment has triggered a boardroom shake-up but Tony Sefton, who has masterminded the scheme, is still in charge of the project, which is also backed by landowner Lafarge Tarmac and other major companies.
The Kuwaiti investment follows the appointment of Chris Townsend, who raised £2 billion for London 2012, as LRCH commercial director. He is scouring international markets for further funding.
The latest news comes shortly after council leaders in Gravesham and Dartford revealed that the project was well on course, with positive talks going on behind the scenes.
Meanwhile, backers of the scheme are trying to persuade the Department for Transport to remove Swanscombe Peninsula as an option for the location of a Third Thames Crossing.
They are concerned that the decision to include Option B on a consultation paper may deter potential investors. Urgent talks have been held with officials but the option is still on the agenda.
Paramount Park would feature an indoor waterpark, theatres, event venues, cinemas, hotels and restaurants.
If it goes ahead, the project on the 872-acre site will create more than 20,000 jobs in the resort and supplier businesses, providing a huge economic, tourism and publicity boost to North West Kent, Medway and the rest of the county.