The Kuwaiti backers of a planned £3.2 billion theme park in Kent, billed as Britain’s answer to Disneyland, will put the brakes on the project if it fails to get planning permission next year.
The television and movie-themed park is planned to be built on an 872-acre site between Gravesend and Dartford. When it was announced in 2012 it was expected to feature rides themed to Paramount blockbusters, including Mission: Impossible and Star Trek, but the studio pulled out in June leaving the park free to sign deals with its rivals.
Its operator London Resort Company Holdings is owned by businessman Abdullah Al-Humaidi’s Kuwaiti European Holding Entertainments (KEHE). In 2008 he set up its parent KEHC to invest in European assets and five years later it acquired Ebbsfleet United football club. The theme park is due to premiere in 2023 provided it gets planning permission.
London Resort Company Holdings is expected to apply in spring and its accounts to December 31 2016 reveal that “should the planning application be unsuccessful the directors would seek to cease trading”. Success isn’t guaranteed as the project has met opposition from locals. As well as the theme park it comprises a theatre, water park, nightclubs and more than 3500 hotel rooms operated by Intercontinental.
Neither London Resort Company Holdings nor KEHE had any revenue last year but the latter had costs of £12.1 million, down from £14.4 million in 2015. It brings its total net liabilities to £45.2 million, owed to Al-Humaidi’s Kuwaiti-based investment vehicle KSC.by