Plans to build a Disneyland like theme park in London has been unveiled. Dubbed the ‘UK’s Disneyland’, the £5 billion resort will be the first of its kind in Europe to be built from scratch since the opening of Disneyland Paris in 1992, and will cover an area roughly equivalent to 136 Wembley stadiums on a former cement works site in Swanscombe, Kent.
The theme park area is planned with rides influenced by big blockbuster films and TV shows made by partners including Paramount Pictures and the BBC. It will also feature a water park, conference venues, hotels and a shopping centre.
The first parts of the park are scheduled to open in 2024 if all goes to plan, with the rest following by the end of the decade.
The project’s CEO, PY Gerbeau, said: ‘It will generate multi-billion-pound investment, thousands of jobs and will transform a largely brownfield site into one of the most exciting entertainment destinations in the world.’
Plans to build a park on the site were first mooted in 2012 but it has encountered various delays during development, including the discovery of a rare colony of jumping spiders in 2013. The updated designs also feature areas for wildlife, signalling an ambition to become the ‘most sustainable’ major theme park in the world.
Organisers have talked up its ability to create jobs and bring investment to the area. Estimates say 9,000 people would be directly employed on the site and 20,000 jobs would be linked to it. This could rise to 17,000 and more than 35,000 respectively after 15 years.