Merlin Entertainments will open the first Legoland theme park in South Korea in 2017

 
Jessica Morris
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Merlin is bringing Legoland to South Korea (Source: Getty)

Merlin Entertainments, owner of Alton Towers and Madame Tussauds, has announced that it will be building a £172m Legoland theme park in South Korea.

The company, which floated last year, said it will be funding just under a third of the project. The rest will be paid for by a property company that's owned by a consortium of local public and private investors.

The park, which will open in 2017, is going to be built on the island of Jung-do in Chuncheon, which is about an hour outside the capital city of Seoul. It will be looking to benefit from the country's well-developed theme park market and the fact that it is one of the largest Asian markets for Lego toy sales.

Nick Varney, Merlin Entertainments chief executive officer said:

I am delighted to be able to announce another Asian Legoland Park project.

South Korea offers both a developed theme park market and strong LEGO brand recognition.

In addition, the city of Chuncheon provides the ideal location, with great transport links and a picturesque island setting.

The move will help continue the company's expansion into the Asian market. Earlier this year, it announced plans to build the first Legoland theme park in Japan, which is due to open in 2017.

Merlin runs six Legolands in five countries, and also has plans to open in Dubai in 2016.

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