Government briefed on plans for UK's first Universal Studios theme park

08 February 2024 by
Government briefed on plans for UK's first Universal Studios theme park

Plans to build the first Universal Studios theme park in the UK have secured backing from the government.

Late last year it was confirmed the US film studio had bought a 480-acre plot of land in Stewartby, which sits between Bedford and Milton Keynes, and was exploring plans for the site.

Now transport secretary Mark Harper has confirmed ministers have been briefed on the scheme and are keen for it to go ahead.

Responding to a question on whether the government would commit to road improvements to support the park, Harper said: "I am familiar with that scheme, on which I have been briefed, and I know that the Chancellor has been involved in it as well.

"The government will look carefully at the proposals that are brought forward and will want to do what we can to ensure that that exciting proposal comes to fruition."

Universal currently runs theme parks in the US, China, Singapore, and Japan.

Its flagship park is in Florida in the US, where its studios are based, and features rides based on franchises including Harry Potter, the Simpsons, Transformers and Fast and Furious.

It is understood the film studio sees the UK as an attractive destination due to its proximity to other parts of Europe, while Bedford is under a two-hour journey for more than half of the UK population and 45 minutes from London.

Confirming the scheme last year, a Universal Destinations and Experiences 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."

Image: Chansak Joe / Shutterstock

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