• The developers behind a planned £2 billion Paramount theme park are holding a series of consultation events at ten locations across Dartford and Gravesham in April and May.

    If given the green light, the resort will have over 50 exciting rides and attractions themed around the film and television programmes of the Paramount Pictures Corporation and British producers. In addition to the deal with Paramount (enabling it to access its library of films including Mission: Impossible, Star Trek, The Godfather and The Italian Job), BBC Worldwide, Aardman and the British Film Institute all signed agreements in the last year so the resort can bring together the best of Hollywood and the best of British.

    Three stages of public consultation events have already taken place and, most recently, a series of published workshops were held to discuss transport, environment and regeneration with the project team. The fourth round of consultation will ensure the project team takes note of the views of the public before plans are submitted to Central Government.

    The resort called “London Paramount” will be the first of its kind in the UK and is expected to attract up to 15 million visitors a year – around 50,000 on a typical day. With a wide range of attractions and entertainment, it is billed as “something for everyone”. Visitors are expected to arrive from all over the UK and the rest of the world.

    To be of lasting value to the North Kent Region and the UK, however, the project must deliver on its promise to bring employment opportunities and economic growth. The UK has long needed such a visitor attraction and this is designed to be the best of its kind. In addition to the theme park, there will be over 11,000 square metres of exhibition space showcasing British inventions and brands, and up to 50,000 quality hotel rooms.

    The resort will be of national significance, providing a central hub for the UK creative industry. The plan is to provide flexible workspaces designed to appeal and cater for start-up businesses, smaller and larger design focused companies and light industrial units, together representing one of the great strengths of the UK economy – small and medium-sized enterprises.

    The developer also plans to create approximately 27,000 new jobs in the community, including 7,000 for the resort itself, supported by training, 4,000 jobs in the hotels and 6000 jobs in the creative hub, and support in the immediate area. It is anticipated there will be approximately 10,000 further jobs in the wider area by creating a leisure product manufacture and sales base. The project managers have committed themselves to working with local education providers to give local people the training and qualifications they need before the resort opens in 2020.

    Another key aspect is the regeneration of a brownfield site, isolated by its previous industrial uses, back into an outstanding and vibrant focus for the region. The combination of jobs, celebrated architecture, access to river walks, the protection of sensitive wildlife areas and a global entertainment resort should transform the underappreciated peninsula.

    The resort will transform the local landscape. The site, totalling approximately 800 acres is principally based on the Swanscombe Peninsula on land to the east of Lovers Lane between the A226 and the River Thames. It also includes land that will link the site with Ebbsfleet International Station and the A2. The developer and Dartford and Gravesham Borough Councils are working together to produce a comprehensive master plan for the resort which has already been accepted by the UK Government as the first “Business or Commercial” project to be considered as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (special government status usually granted to major infrastructure projects such as power plants and major road projects).

    Following this round of consultation and engagement with local residents and interested parties, the planning application will be submitted in Autumn 2015 to the Planning Inspectorate, a Government Executive Agency, rather than the local authority in Kent. The Planning Inspectorate will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who will have the final say on the matter.

    Detailed design and contractor appointment will be carried out between Spring 2015 and Autumn 2016 with the final decision by the Secretary of State in Winter 2016. Construction should be underway by Winter 2016 for the grand publisheding in Easter 2020.

    There is much to like about this proposal in terms of the economic benefits on offer and local businesses have so far met the project with enthusiasm. Its contribution to the longer term prosperity of the region will be assessed in due course but there is already concern that the fruits of the construction boom are adequately shared. For instance, industry leaders in Kent such as Constructing Excellence Kent Club founder Kevin Bush have publicly called for small firms to push for a share of the pie when contracts go out for tender.

    The advice must be that, whatever the perceived barriers, local and domestic firms must promote and market themselves strongly, including possibly teaming up with rivals to keep the work within the UK and the region.

    This content is correct at time of publication

    Can we help?

    Take a look at our Corporate page for useful information, resources, guidance, details of our team and how we may be able to help you

  • Get in touch

    Please fill out the below form or alternatively you can call us on 01622 690691

      By submitting an enquiry through 'get in touch' your data will only be used to contact you regarding your enquiry. If you subscribe to any of our newsletters, you can unsubscribe any time using the link in the email. Please view our privacy statement for more information