Published: 15:27, 29 April 2019
| Updated: 11:33, 30 April 2019
Rides and attractions based on hit TV shows could be coming to Kent after a long-awaited theme park announced a landmark deal with ITV studios.
The London Resort project, set to be built on the Swanscombe Peninsula between Gravesend and Dartford, was originally going to be inspired by Paramount Pictures, with the film studio lending its name to the resort’s rides and attractions.
The high profile project was put in jeopardy in 2017 when Paramount pulled out of the project, but owners London Resort Company Holdings have announced a deal which they hope will rekindle enthusiasm in the project.
The agreement with ITV will see content and characters from its shows transformed into unique attractions.
It comes four years after the BBC and Wallace and Gromit creators Aardman Animations announced a similar partnership, aiming to bring a Best of British concept to the "multi-billion-pound global destination theme park" due to open in 2024.
The London Resort will feature two parks set over 535 acres – the equivalent of 136 Wembley Stadiums.
Three times larger than other UK parks, it will have 200 acres dedicated to rides and experiences and a bespoke entertainment district devoted to a full-suite of hospitality experiences including the provision of 3,500 hotel rooms.
"We are thrilled to be on board with this world class project, which will offer fans a whole new way to experience our brand”, said Steve Green, from EVP Kids Content and Distribution, ITV Studios Global Entertainment.
“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."
Those backing the project say The London Resort will be one of the largest construction projects across Europe, and will create over 30,000 jobs, contributing billions of pounds to UK economy.
Steve Norris, Chairman of The London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) said: “To create a world class destination, you have to work with world class partners and ITV Studios ticks every box.
"Globally recognised for its rich heritage of creating some of the most popular and entertaining content on the small screen, ITV has properties which have never been transformed into truly unique experiences.
"That’s the vision and I’m delighted to welcome them on board for what promises to be an epic journey.”