London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) have today announced that their partnership with Paramount Pictures to create an entertainment Resort on the Swanscombe Peninsular in Kent has been discontinued.
In a surprise announcement, LRCH confirmed that the partnership, which had been in place since the early stages of the Resort’s development, would end with any financial implications for the termination of the deal kept private. It is thought that one of the reasons for the split has been the inability of the Resort’s developers and Paramount to agree terms on the use of image rights for some of the Studio’s top stars as well as the rights to major films. The decision means that a number of proposed themes for attractions within the complex will now not feature, including Transformers; Star Trek; and Mission: Impossible. It is thought that the developers will now look to work with a range of different brands who would not had otherwise been interested had the Resort been built under the Paramount name. Speaking about the end of the partnership, LRCH Chief Executive Humphrey Percy said:
“We want to express our sincere thanks to the many members of the Paramount team who have worked with us since we took over the project in August 2013.
“We are working closely with the local authorities, landowners and local community, as well as our other stakeholders, and we very much look forward to showing our plans to the public as part of our final stage of consultation prior to submitting later this year.
“We are creating a unique entertainment destination offering a scale and quality unprecedented in the UK where much-loved characters and stories will be brought to life from iconic movies, television, books, electronic gaming and toys.”
Despite this recent news, LRCH have insisted that they are still on course to submit plans for the Entertainment Resort this November with further community consultation due this autumn. The Resort still has agreements to use brands from both BBC Worldwide and Aardman Animations, as well as a recently announced partnership with InterContinental Hotel Group to manage up to 4000 guest hotel rooms on the site. Since confirming the news this morning, the project’s website and social media channels have been rebranded to simply London Resort.
Following the recent announcement, local government leaders have been speaking to local press regarding their thoughts on recent developments. Jeremy Kite, leader of Dartford Borough Council, said:
“This is an announcement about content. The deal with Paramount was restrictive.
American corporations are very defensive of their brands and LRCH had always had the desire to have a range of concepts in their park.
“Paramount had been a break on that.
“The other big issue hasn’t changed, which is how you welcome this to north Kent without causing problems for the infrastructure of north Kent.”
Whilst David Turner, leader of Gravesham Borough Council, said:
“I think they are in a stronger position than they were before.
“We are excited by the project and have been waiting for them to bring it forward for some time.”
This latest announcement will be seen by many as another setback for the Entertainment Resort with the project having had its target opening date moved back three times and is currently targeted to open in 2022.
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