UK’s first Universal Studios theme park takes huge step forward

Universal is exploring the possibility of a potential park and resort experience in Bedford

Thursday 08 February 2024 14:11 GMT
Comments
Related: New details about Universal’s Epic Universe theme park

The Government has offered to help Universal Studios open a first UK theme park.

Universal Destinations & Experiences is in the “very early stages of exploring the possibility of a potential park and resort experience” in Bedford.

Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, Florida
Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, Florida (Getty Images)

Transport Secretary Mark Harper, pressed to fund road improvements to aid the bid, said he has been briefed about the scheme, while Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has also been involved.

NBCUniversal has bought a former brickworks site in Bedfordshire.

Comcast Corporation purchased the land near the market town, with a feasibility study taking place.

he Nintendo video game characters Mario and Luigi stand in the main plaza of the new Universal Studios in Orlando
he Nintendo video game characters Mario and Luigi stand in the main plaza of the new Universal Studios in Orlando (2023 Invision)

has five entertainment and resort complexes around the world – Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Japan (Osaka), Universal Beijing Resort and Universal Studios Singapore.

Labour MP Mohammad Yasin said the project would bring “enormous prosperity and jobs” to his Bedford constituency and the wider area.

Speaking at Transport questions in the Commons, he said: “Given road infrastructure funding has already been allocated until 2025, will the Government commit to supporting this exciting project and funding the substantial road improvements that will be necessary for this plan to go ahead?”

Mr Harper replied: “I’m very familiar with that scheme – I’ve been briefed on it myself, and I know the Chancellor has been involved in this as well.

“We will look very carefully at the proposals put forward, and I know the Government will want to do what we can to make sure that this exciting proposal comes to fruition.”

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has been involved in the plans
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has been involved in the plans (PA Wire)

Theme park history expert Dr Sabrina Mittermeier told BBC that the area would be forever changed if a theme park was built.

She added: “In the 1990s when Euro Disney was created, the French government was very interested in bringing Disney to France in terms of jobs, tourism and development.”

“Usually, the local population supports it for the economic reasons. But you need to build a lot of infrastructure and all that comes out of state funds. France had to put in a lot of money to pay for road and rail improvements to accommodate millions of visitors.”

The news comes as Universal Orlando Resort’s new theme park will open next year featuring lands devoted to Super Nintendo World characters, Universal film monsters, the “Fantastic Beasts” films and the “How to Train Your Dragon” film franchise.

Standing in the middle of Universal Orlando‘s fourth theme park, Universal Epic Universe, Celestial Park will be a multi-acre space of gardens, waterways and pathways for strolling and serve as a gateway to the new park’s four additional lands, Universal officials said in a news release.

The theme park opens in 2025, and Universal officials said they plan to release more details about it later this year.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in