The London Resort, one of the most ambitious theme park projects ever undertaken in Europe, has attracted overwhelming interest from businesses since launching its supply chain Register of Interest last month. Nearly 2,000 businesses have already submitted their details, with 30% of those registered based in Kent and Essex.
The Resort will be the first European development of its kind, to be built from scratch, in nearly 30 years. A range of businesses are set to benefit from the £50bn of gross economic activity (GVA) which the Resort will generate in the UK over the initial 25-year period, it is claimed.
Figures released 10 September reveal that almost 90% of registrations to date have been from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – businesses with less than 250 employees – demonstrating that the Resort is in prime position to meet the government target that £1 in every £3 spent will be with SMEs.
The construction sector makes up nearly a third of registrations so far, with the remaining two-thirds representing sectors including retail, food and beverage, creative and entertainment companies, security, logistics and engineering firms.
The Resort also asked registrants about the barriers to growing their business. 36% stated that access to tender opportunities was a key barrier; lack of networks / mentoring was a concern for some; recruitment / skills gaps were a prominent issue for large firms.
The success of Disneyland Paris is testament to the impact that a global theme park can have. A report on the economic contribution of Disneyland Paris found that it added €68bn to the French economy in the 25 years since opening. The region in which the park is located, Seine-et-Marne, has benefitted €22.4bn.
Tim Aker, development manager at the Kent and Medway Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said “That so many businesses have registered to be part of the procurement process demonstrates the value the London Resort will bring to the southeast, and the country as a whole. FSB members across the region have signed up, and more to follow. It’s an exciting project that will bring jobs and investment as our economy begins to recover.”
“We are delighted with the response” commented Andy Martin, strategy and communications director for the London Resort “It’s incredibly inspiring to see the range of businesses that share our vision to create one of the most exciting, sustainable entertainment destinations in the world.”
48,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs will be created by the London Resort by 2038. 50% of those jobs will come from local communities of Dartford, Gravesham and Thurrock.
Martin continued: “On a project of this scale and complexity, we’ll need different types of suppliers at different stages of the process. For design and construction, the procurement process is underway, operational supplier engagement will come later.
“We are passionate about advancing the skills and careers of local residents and contributing to local economic growth. We’re particularly encouraged to see so many small and locally based businesses registering. We’ve also been contacted by global leaders in the industry, demonstrating the appeal of this project. The Register of Interest is helping us understand the wealth of experience, innovation and dynamism that businesses of all shapes and sizes can bring to this unique project.”