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400,000+ READERS leisure opportunities 27 MAY – 09 JUN 2014 ISSUE 633 Daily news & jobs: Paramount’s £2bn Kent theme park moves forward

A major £2bn theme park development near Ebbsfleet in Kent, has been deemed a project of national signifi- cance by the government, clearing a pathway for faster development of the scheme. Paramount Pictures theme

park is the first leisure devel- opment to be considered under the scheme, which has typically been used for power regeneration projects, plus major transport and infra- structure upgrades. Dartford and Gravesham

borough councils have already voiced support for the project, which could cre- ate up to 27,000 jobs. “Te Secretary of State considers this pro-

Te proposed theme park and resort would become one of the four largest in the world

posal would be likely to have significant economic impact, be important in driving growth in the economy, and that it would also have an impact on an area wider than a single

Woburn Center Parcs opening date revealed

After two years’ construction and 10 years’ conception, the UK’s fiſth Center Parcs resort will open at Woburn Forest on Friday 6 June. Te Blackstone Group-owned resort

operator has confirmed the launch date for the £250m complex, which will feature 625 lodges, a 75-bedroom hotel, Center Parcs’ largest Subtropical Swimming Paradise and an Aqua Sana spa. As at other Center Parcs sites, the new resort will feature a wide range of indoor and outdoor activi- ties and a broad selection of sports. Details:



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local authority area,” said a statement from the Department of Communities and Local Government. “Te Secretary of State also con- siders that the substantial physical size of the proposal is relevant to his decision that this

Sports Direct in gym market negotiations

Sports Direct International – the company founded by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley – is considering a high-profile arrival in the health clubs sector with the acquisition of up to 33 LA fitness sites, according to reports. Sports Direct confirmed it was in talks over

the move, which if successful, would see it follow retail rivals JD Sports into the gym market. Te latter launched its first club at a former Fitness First site in Hull earlier this year. Leases for the 33 sites were put up for sale by

LA fitness in March as part of a restructuring plan to reduce debt. It is not yet known how the sites would be branded or operated under any deal with Sports Direct. Leisure Opportunities

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Newcastle Utd owner Mike Ashley founded the company

understands that negotiations have been ongo- ing for some time and that a meeting took place among Sports Direct’s senior management the day before news of the potential move broke. Details:

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project is of national and substantial significance.” Planned for 2018, the

Paramount Pictures-branded resort will be at the heart of the 872 acre (1.3sq m, 3.5sq km) site – to be built on what is currently a brown- field site in the Swanscombe Peninsula. It will be one of the largest regeneration proj- ects in Europe and among the four largest theme parks anywhere in the world. Plans include an indoor

water park, as well as theatres, music venues, attractions, restaurants, and hotel devel- opments. London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) –

the company behind the proposed development – has signed an agreement with Paramount Pictures, to give exclusive UK licensing for a Paramount entertainment resort at the heart of the site. Details:

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