SinoFortone to invest £100m in UK theme park
Updated: 2015-10-21 02:06
By Karen Kwok(chinadaily.com.cn)
A demo picture of London Paramount Entrygate.[Provided to China Daily]
Chinese-backed SinoFortone Group announced its intention today to invest 100 million pounds in the London Paramount Entertainment Resort, a new project including a theme park and hotels in North Kent, which is expected to create up to 27,000 jobs.
The London Paramount Resort is a project by London Resort Company Holdings, with a cost of £3.2 billion, which is due to open in 2021.
The resort is listed as a "Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project" by the British government, which allows it a fast-tracked planning permission process.
It will include a number of themed zones, which will showcase quality production of Paramount Pictures, the Hollywood studio behind the film Mission Impossible, BBC and Aardman productions.
"The resort combines the best of Hollywood through Paramount Pictures, the best of British through the involvement of the BBC and Aardman Animations and now the best of Chinese construction expertise through SinoFortone Group," said Nigel Spray, head of Principal Investments & Advisory at Kleinwort Benson, the sole adviser to London Resort Company Holdings.
"This investment supports President Xi Jinping's important "One Belt One Road" strategy, which encourages international infrastructure investment and trade relationships," Peter Zhang, managing director and Sir Richard Heygate, senior advisor at SinoFortone Group said in a joint statement.
"Given the President's October visit to the UK as a guest of Her Majesty the Queen, it is well-timed," they said.
The announcement comes as Chinese President Xi Jinping makes a four-day state visit to the UK. It follows a visit to China by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in September this year, and an initial Memorandum of Understanding signed between Britain and China in August 2015.
David Testa, Chief Executive Officer of London Paramount, is delighted with SinoFortone Group's investment decision. He said that the decision reflected the unique economic and regenerative opportunity provided by the multi-billion pound project. It would be "a huge additional offering to the UK's entertainment and tourism industries", which would provide jobs to thousands of people.
The announcement of the investment initiative also comes at a time when Visit Kent, the Destination Management Organization for Kent, is embarking on a wide-spread campaign to make the most of the growing potential of the Chinese market, according Sandra Matthews-Marsh MBE, Chief Executive of Visit Kent, where the resort will be built.
"2015 marks the beginning of a "golden era" in Anglo/Sino relations as we look to encourage further collaboration and facilitate inward investment for Chinese firms across all sectors," said the current Lord Mayor of London, Alan Yarrow.
To contact the reporter: email@example.com