A little known Chinese construction firm has agreed to inject £100m funding into the development of a new £3.2bn Hollywood theme park in north Kent.
The developers behind Paramount Entertainment resort – which will have over 50 rides when it opens based on TV shows and popular Hollywood films – said China’s SinoFortone Group has thrown its weight behind the scheme.
The deal, announced today to coincide with President Xi Jinping’s four-day state visit to the UK, is also the largest single investment by a Chinese company into the UK leisure industry. Kleinwort Benson acted as sole adviser on the project's maiden investment.
The theme park is being developed by London Resort Company Holdings, a Kuwaiti-backed property firm, which is chaired by former transport minister Steven Norris.
The group is still waiting for the go-ahead from the secretary of state for communities and local government Greg Clark to build on the 900-acre brownfield site, although it expects to open its doors by 2021.
London Resorts is anticipating more than 15 million visitors per year to the park once properly established, creating 27,000 jobs.
David Testa, chief executive of London Paramount, said SinoFortone’s backing of the scheme “reflects the unique economic and regenerative opportunity provided by this multi-billion pound project, which will employ thousands of people and be a huge additional offering to the UK’s entertainment and tourism industries.”
Dr. Peter Zhang, managing director, and Sir Richard Heygate, senior advisor at SinoFortone Group, said London Paramount was “an ideal investment opportunity” given its proximity and good transport links with London.
“This investment supports President Xi Jinpeng’s important ‘One Belt One Road’ strategy, which encourages international infrastructure investment and trade relationships,” they said.