Published: 10:00, 13 October 2014
| Updated: 10:03, 13 October 2014
The grand opening of the £2bn Paramount entertainment resort proposed for north Kent has been put back by nearly a year.
London Resort Company Holdings, the company behind the project, is now aiming to welcome the first visitors in Easter 2020.
The change was made after bosses reassessed the feasibility of their original timescale announced in July, which had targeted an opening date in the spring or summer of 2019.
Speaking a the Construction and Manufacturing Expo at the Kent Showground in Detling last week, London Resort Company Holdings revealed much of their timescale for the resort on the Swanscombe Peninsula has been put back.
Rather than submitting planning permission in the summer of next year, the firm now aims to do so in the autumn.
This will put back the Secretary of State’s decision to approve the site – and the beginning of construction – to the winter of 2016.
“That is a tall order,” said London Resort Company Holdings director Fenlon Dunphy, who is also a director of KEH, the Kuwaiti-based financial backers of the project who also own Ebbsfleet United FC.
“We have a lot of work to do and it is progressing well but there is a mountain of stuff to do.
“It is always better to open at Easter and in order to achieve our opening date, we are now showing Easter 2020.”
A team of nearly 50 designers are working in London to draw up how the resort will look. Detailed design work is expected to run until 2016.
The company is planning to launch supply chain events next year. These will run in the form of workshops and “one-to-one engagements”.
London Paramount Entertainment Resort will be expected to create 27,000 jobs – 17,000 on site – and attract 15m visitors a year by its fourth year of opening.
More than 2,000 people attended the first round of consultation in the summer, with many people raising concerns about transport to the site.
Between 2-3m customers a year will be expected to arrive on HS1 and 200,000 to 300,000 by the River Thames.
The resort will have a catchment area of 45m people living within a two-hour journey. That is the same size as Disneyland Paris.
As well as improving the road infrastructure, bosses hinted they aim to lobby government to extend the Crossrail link to Ebbsfleet. At present, the project aims to go as far as Abbey Wood.
Mr Dunphy said: “There’s a logic and reason for it to continue. If you have got homes there as part of a garden city, and us there too, there’s a logic and we would love it to come down. We would encourage it.”
The next stage of the consultation on the Paramount resort is due to begin next month.
It will run at 12 different venues around Gravesham and Dartford over the course of 10 days, beginning on November 5.
Businesses interested in working on the project should register their interest by emailing email@example.com.
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