Universal Studios confirms plans for first theme park in UK

20 December 2023, 10:56

Universal is planning on opening a park in the UK
Universal is planning on opening a park in the UK. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Universal Studios has confirmed plans for its first theme park in the UK.

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The studios said it was "exploring" opening a theme park in the UK after purchasing 480 acres of land.

The park, which would be Universal's first in Europe, is tipped to be opened in Bedford, with land having been purchased at Kempston Hardwick.

The location is understood to have been chosen due to its close proximity to London, with it taking only 45 minutes on the train, and it being a short driving distance from Luton Airport.

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Hollywood Entrance to the Jurassic Park ride
Hollywood Entrance to the Jurassic Park ride. Picture: Alamy

A Universal spokesperson said: "We recently acquired land in Bedford 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."

It comes after a Universal Studios Great Britain website was registered by parent company NBC Universal.

Comcast, the telecoms firm that runs NBC Universal, is also said to have bought a company with links to the Bedford brickwork site in August.

There are already five Universal Studios parks: Hollywood and Orlando in the US, Osaka in Japan, Sentosa in Singapore and Beijing in China.

A Texas park is also in the process of being built.

Universal is behind huge blockbusters including Jurassic Park, Back to the Future and the Despicable Me series.

The theme parks also feature franchises produced by other studios, such as Harry Potter and The Simpsons.

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