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Details emerge about Swanscombe’s Paramount theme park

11:28 29 November 2012

Swanscombe theme park plans: To give an idea of scale, the grey blocks within the blue square cover a larger area than Bluewater.

Swanscombe theme park plans: To give an idea of scale, the grey blocks within the blue square cover a larger area than Bluewater.

Archant

The man behind Paramount Park last night set out his vision of the biggest, greenest, most advanced leisure destination that hails the best of British.

The Swanscombe Peninsula could be transformed into a park that rivals Disneyland resorts across the world.

It would have a theme park based on a Hollywood movie set, an indoor water park, theatres, cinemas, event space and a country park at the peninsula’s tip.

Techno Expo, an exhibition of future technologies such as high-speed cars, would add an educational aspect and every afternoon a massive carnival would be held followed by a full-blown evening show.

Tony Sefton, director of Vision XS, which is one of the largest players in the theme park industry, spoke to Gravesham residents on Wednesday (28) to answer the numerous questions that have arisen since the first announcement of the plans in October which, he explained, was a rushed response after an internal leak.

Mr Sefton described Paramount Park as a means to “rebalancing the economy and regenerating” the area.

He added that few areas in Europe were suitable for this type of project and his team had already worked for three years studying whether the Swanscombe peninsula would work.

It is the existing transport links – the motorway, the high-speed train to London and the Eurostar from Ebbsfleet – that let to the selection of the site.

A Thames airport was not on their agenda, he said, although it was a “pipe dream”, and as for a third Thames crossing at Swanscombe, he said the park wouldn’t happen if a bridge was built.

In order to limit congestion on local roads, they plan to time the carnival and evening show during peak hours so few visitors cars leaving the park at those times, and the idea is to promote the “highest public transport mix of any major leisure park”.

Mr Sefton addressed concerns that the jobs created would only be seasonal by saying international resorts of this kind have a visitors all year round.

Recruitment will also take into account ex-offenders, NEETs and those approaching retirement or already retired.

Environmental concerns were also focused on, citing plans for using roof space for generating electricity and using waste to pump water back in.

It would be a place for training people in their careers, getting young people interested in new technology and promoting the best of British.

Mr Sefton said: “As much as we are using the Paramount brand we don’t want to take a chunk of America and plonk it in north Kent. We will have major British brands throughout the park.”

The Paramount Park plans will be open to a public consultation from early next year, and if it goes ahead construction could begin in the beginning of 2015.

Paramount Park so far…

In October, just the mention of a Paramount theme park led to 1.5 million tweets and 1,500 news articles within a couple of days.

27,000 jobs would be created: 7,000 in the resort, 3,000 in the hotels, 4,000 in commercial businesses supporting from bread deliverers to builders, 3,000 from UK and international firms basing themselves here and 10,000 in the local area supplying services.

At Alton Towers 95% of visitors use cars; at Tokyo Disney it is only 41%: Vision XS wants to minimise car travel.

Plan to subsidise one million school visits every year.

Already five years of new rides, shows and restaurants planned.

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