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The arrival of spring and the prospect of a revival in visitor numbers to theme parks and other family attractions is encouraging developers to invest in some significant new leisure schemes around the country.

Often linked to regeneration and ‘levelling-up’ projects, these schemes are also generating significant new construction contracts.

They are also contributing to the health of the hotel & leisure sector where Glenigan figures show project starts rose by 23% in the three months to January compared to the period a year earlier making it the only major work category to show an increase in new activity.

Image of the planned new London Resort

One of the largest theme park construction developments in the sector, The London Resort on the Swanscombe Peninsula near Tilbury in Kent, is set to get underway this summer. Contractors have yet to be named for the huge £3.5 billion scheme which involves a floor area of 27,500 sq m and will include two theme parks with retail and dining facilities, four hotels with up to 3,550 rooms and a link road to the A2.

Detailed plans have been submitted and Farrells and Buro Happold are among the consultants on the project, where work is expected to run for 35 months (Project ID: 12327258).

Ambitious project

Moving north a planning application has been approved on the first phase of the Blackpool Central Masterplan, an ambitious £300 million project designed to revive the fortunes of the holiday resort. Funding has been secured and construction work is due to start this month on a 1,300-space multi-storey car park (Project ID: 21240435).

Detailed plans have also been drawn up for a heritage quarter at Blackpool with an artisan food hall and space for outdoor dining. Meanwhile, plans for future phases include three entertainment centres, a hotel, and restaurants (Project ID: 18427922).

Further up the Lancashire coast, a planning approval was granted last month for the £125 million Eden Project North in Morecambe Bay, a north country version of the well-known eco attraction in Cornwall. It will involve shell-shaped pavilions and two restaurants and assuming government funding of £70 million is forthcoming, the scheme’s backers have a target date to open in 2024.

Across the Pennines, the Sheffield Ski Village Development is gathering pace with the city council set to spend a further £200,000 on site investigation and clearance work. Construction work on the scheme which will include a 48-acre sports, leisure, and entertainment complex at the Parkwood site, is pencilled to start in 2025 and run for 25 months (Project ID: 05079236).

Smaller contract opportunities

Image of Legoland Windsor planned new lodges

Proposals for smaller leisure and theme park schemes are also creating scope for construction contracts. In the London catchment area, detailed plans have been granted and tenders returned for a £10 million holiday village at Merlin Entertainments’ Legoland Windsor Resort. Work on the scheme, involving 65 semi-detached lodges, is set to start later this summer with completion due for early 2024 (Project ID: 19299760).

Meanwhile, in East Anglia, detailed plans have been submitted to redevelop a former deer park with a £4.83 million extension to the Norfolk Dinosaur Park theme park. It will include a ‘volcano feature’ along with various infrastructure works, and construction work is set to start early next year and run for six months (Project ID: 21299227).

Glenigan customers can see details of new construction work in the hotel & leisure sector if part of your subscription.

Not a Glenigan customer, but would like to see detailed sales leads for new hotel & leisure work in your regions? Request a free demo of Glenigan today so we can show the size of the opportunity for your business.

Not a Glenigan Customer?

Request a free demo of Glenigan today so we can show the size of the opportunity for your business.