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Universal considering UK theme park in Bedford

Rupert

Mega Poster
Amazing to see land purchase by a company obviously 100 times more likely to do something than the London Resort ever was. I’m at work so can’t check - how does the size of this plot compare to other parks, Universal or otherwise? I presume at least ~50% of any site goes to backstage needs, parking etc. Presumably a more indoor park takes up less space (more compact rides)?

Despite the good indications something is happening - the UK is notoriously problematic for getting anything built largely due to difficulties getting planning consent. Given how close the site is to a town of 100,000 there are going to be plenty of objections to a theme park. There is also the demand on the power grid, environmental considerations, transport demand etc. There will likely be a change in government next year - suggestion is that a Labour government will be more planning/development-friendly (current restrictive policies have impeded economic growth etc etc) but who knows how that will actually play out.

I’m more optimistic for this than many other developments, but it will take years for anything to happen, if it actually does at all. Fingers crossed for a clone of the ridiculous Mack from Epic Universe though :D
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
Amazing to see land purchase by a company obviously 100 times more likely to do something than the London Resort ever was. I’m at work so can’t check - how does the size of this plot compare to other parks, Universal or otherwise? I presume at least ~50% of any site goes to backstage needs, parking etc. Presumably a more indoor park takes up less space (more compact rides)?

Despite the good indications something is happening - the UK is notoriously problematic for getting anything built largely due to difficulties getting planning consent. Given how close the site is to a town of 100,000 there are going to be plenty of objections to a theme park. There is also the demand on the power grid, environmental considerations, transport demand etc. There will likely be a change in government next year - suggestion is that a Labour government will be more planning/development-friendly (current restrictive policies have impeded economic growth etc etc) but who knows how that will actually play out.

I’m more optimistic for this than many other developments, but it will take years for anything to happen, if it actually does at all. Fingers crossed for a clone of the ridiculous Mack from Epic Universe though :D

It's just 50 acres smaller than the entire Alton Towers site, but obviously should hopefully be completely usable, unlike Alton Towers with it's lawns, gardens, sound buffer and other unusable areas. You'd also have to expect Universal to build a multi storey rather than take up so much land for parking.
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
Incredible - I can’t think of anything better for the UK theme park industry than this. Fingers crossed!

Also, “Universal Studios Great Britain”? If so, thanks Universal for reminding the majority of the UK population of the name of the island they live on. Everyone thinks the US Americans are bad at Geography but… why does nobody in the UK know this!!! 🙈

(That’s a fun bit of smarmy trivia to annoy all your friends and relatives with on Christmas Day - watch them meltdown one by one as they all get the name of the island they live on wrong and refuse to accept they didn’t know the answer… or accuse you of asking a trick question. You can then retire to bed, forever alone and without love, but also forever correct - it’s the only way 🤩)
 
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Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
Incredible - I can’t think of anything better for the UK theme park industry than this. Fingers crossed!

Also, “Universal Studios Great Britain”? If so, thanks Universal for reminding the majority of the UK population of the name of the island they live on. Everyone thinks the US Americans are bad at Geography but… why does nobody in the UK know this!!! 🙈

(That’s a fun bit of smarmy trivia to annoy all your friends and relatives with on Christmas Day - watch them meltdown one by one as they all get the name of the island they live on wrong and refuse to accept they didn’t know the answer… or accuse you of asking a trick question. You can then retire to bed, forever alone and without love, but also forever correct - it’s the only way 🤩)
Had this very argument with somebody not long ago who was trying to say that N. Ireland was park of Great Britain!!!

And there it is.


OMG it's officially confirmed!!!! Universal are exploring the possibility of building a park in the UK! And whilst they claim it's at the very early stages, land has been acquired, companies have been acquired, patents filed, domains registered...

Just for anybody that doesn't click links, this is what was printed in the article @coasterboy linked to...

A spokesperson from Universal Destinations & Experiences told the Bedford Independent, “We recently acquired land in Bedford [Borough] and are at the early stages of exploring its feasibility for a potential park and resort at this site.

“It will be many months before we are ready to make a decision to proceed and we look forward to engaging with all relevant stakeholders and the local community.”

They said that no creative content of the park has yet been determined and stressed that “we are still very early in planning this potential project”.
 

INFERNOismybaby

Roller Poster
The traction this has gained already is crazy. I have already seen some of the local newspapers reporting on this - this is pretty big news for the local area; I assume it’ll only make it more attractive for businesses etc so there’s the wider benefits to it too but also fills that hole in the UK theme park industry - we don’t have that one IT park… yet!
 

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Tonkso

Hyper Poster
Oh wow, it's actually official then? Is anyone else just in utter disbelief? This is happening.

If you told me Universal Studios Bedford would be a thing back in April, I'd be checking to see if it was trhe first.

Universal Studios Bedford. It's a bit Trotters Independent Trading

"Hollywood, Orlando, Marston Moretaine"
 

Climb

Mega Poster
This is wild and so incredibly exciting!

I hope this makes Merlin scramble a little bit too about their future market share. I wonder if they had caught a whiff of this apparent rumour and whether that may also have informed future plans. Maybe I’m being delulu but…
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
This is wild and so incredibly exciting!

I hope this makes Merlin scramble a little bit too about their future market share. I wonder if they had caught a whiff of this apparent rumour and whether that may also have informed future plans. Maybe I’m being delulu but…
Given how long ago the current investments would have first begun their planning stages, it would mean that this has been kept under wraps for years. Not impossible though, given the stage it's at, with land acquisition, and the apparent age of that concept art.
 

Flash Shift

Roller Poster
I've heard rumblings of this, but it's actually real? About time the UK gets a new good theme park. Will be interesting to see how the restrictions in the UK affect this park.
 

Trax

Hyper Poster
So, what will be the first to be completed? London resort or Universal GB?

Quota for Universal is 1:1
 

spicy

Giga Poster
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Howie

Donkey in a hat
"A spokesperson for Universal said..... we look forward to engaging with stakeholders and the local community ".

That's the bit that worries me. I bet the 'Hands Off Our Village' and 'Say No To Universal' signs are being hammered into hundreds of front lawns as we speak.
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
"A spokesperson for Universal said..... we look forward to engaging with stakeholders and the local community ".

That's the bit that worries me. I bet the 'Hands Off Our Village' and 'Say No To Universal' signs are being hammered into hundreds of front lawns as we speak.
Everybody’s in favour of progress, until it’s on their doorstep.

Thankfully this will almost certainly be designated as a NSIP, and this time it is more than just an investment scam.

Also, considering the whole ‘centre of the universe’ comments, as well as Universal saying “We support Bedford’s vision of becoming a prosperous place to live, work and visit and we take a proactive approach to partnering with local communities and stakeholders, like Bedford Borough Council, when pursuing potential projects.” I think that they’re a little further along in their collaborations with the local authorities than they’d have you believe.
 
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