Published on : Friday, January 10, 2020
The developer behind plans to build Britain’s biggest theme park has reported losses up more than £50 million prior to submitting an application for planning permission. Billed as Britain’s answer to Disneyland, the London Resort theme park is due to be built on a 535-acre site between Dartford and Gravesend, costing £3.5 billion.
But accounts for London Resort Company Holdings show that the company has been hit by total losses of £54.8 million since the project began in 2011, along with numerous timetable delays.
For the year ending December 31, 2018, the company generated no revenue and made a pre-tax loss of £1.7m, down from £8.9m the previous year. One of the most ambitious theme park projects ever in Europe, the theme park was announced in 2012 to much fanfare but since then the project has been on a bit of a roller coaster.
The developers, back by a Kuwaiti tycoon, planned on premiering the park in 2018 but after several breakdowns in deals with sponsors and investors, the opening has now been pushed back until 2024 at the earliest. The Hollywood studio Paramount had originally signed a naming rights deal for the project, but pulled out in 2017, leading to the developers partnering with ITV instead.
But the twists and turns continued after Paramount came back on board with the project, alongside ITV and the BBC and last month the first artwork for the park were released. The resort will house number film-inspired rides from Mission Impossible to the Godfather, as well as a water park, theatre and hotel, and is expected to create 33,000 jobs.
The accounts show that £3.3 million was spent by the company putting a deposit down on land in Swanscombe where the park will be located. The company paid £1m to Swanscombe Development LLP in March to extend an option to buy the land until 2023, subject to certain conditions being met by December 23.
The developers are due to submit the planning application later this year, alongside a public consultation.