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Merlin Entertainments announces Legoland Shanghai development
Leading global attractions operator, Merlin Entertainments, with brands including LEGOLAND, Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE and the Dungeons, has announced that it has entered into a partnership agreement with the Shanghai Jinshan District Government, CMC Inc. and KIRKBI to develop a LEGOLAND® Resort in the Jinshan District of Shanghai, China. The announcement was made as part of the China International Import Expo 2019.
Under the terms of the agreement, all parties will form a joint venture company and contribute funding to the construction and development of LEGOLAND® Shanghai. The total project investment is expected to be approximately US$554 million. The schedule for the project is still to be determined, but the project is not expected to open until after 2023.
LEGOLAND® Shanghai will be one of the largest LEGOLAND® Resorts in the world and will incorporate a 250-room fully themed hotel on opening. It will be located in the Jinshan District in south west Shanghai with a two-hour catchment of 55 million people. The region comprising Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui has an estimated population of 220 million.
Since the start of 2018, the Company has opened five new Midway attractions, including the world’s first Peppa Pig World of Play (Shanghai) and Little BIG City (Beijing).
Nick Varney, Chief Executive of Merlin Entertainments, advised “I’m delighted that we are able to realise the development of a LEGOLAND® Resort in Shanghai; one of the most vibrant cities in the world. A gateway city with modern consumers, Shanghai is already the home for many Merlin brands, and it has been our ambition for some time to build a full-scale theme park that offers the people of Shanghai and visitors to the area the opportunity to immerse themselves in a unique LEGOLAND® experience.
“I’m honoured therefore to join our partners at this prestigious event and be able to announce this project which is a reflection of the scale opportunity in China and our commitment to developing our business here.”
China is a strategic growth market for the LEGO® Group. During the past few years the company has significantly expanded its retail operations and by the end of 2020 is on track to have 220 stores in more than 50 cities.The company began distributing products in mainland China more than 30 years ago. It opened a regional office in Shanghai in 2014, followed by a flagship store in the city in 2016. It also opened a state-of-the-art production facility in Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province in 2016 to supply products to China and the Asia Pacific region.The brand now has three flagship stores in Beijing and Shanghai.
Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, Executive Chairman, The Lego Brand Group, noted that “The LEGO® brand has increased its presence, revenue and contribution in China during the past decade to create a positive impact on the development of the Chinese society with learning through play experiences.
“We are excited about the opportunity to bring LEGOLAND® to Shanghai Jinshan. It will give Chinese families even more opportunities to experience the benefits of LEGO® play and have fun together.
"We have been pleased with the positive response the LEGO® brand has received in China. KIRKBI, the LEGO® Group and LEGO® Education look forward to continuing to invest to bring even more exciting experiences to families in Shanghai and the Yangtze River Delta.”
Hu Wei Gou Mayor and Party Secretary of Jinshan District, Shanghai added that “the establishment of a LEGOLAND® Park in Jinshan not only supports the economic bridge between Shanghai and Zhejiang province, and better contributes to the high-quality integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region; it also promotes Shanghai as a theme park destination with Disney Resort in the East and LEGOLAND® Resort in the west, supporting the local tourism economy.
“For Jinshan, it is an important opportunity to further the momentum in our regional development, enhance the area’s attractiveness and competitiveness and facilitate the growth in consumption. It also promotes the "simultaneous development of advanced manufacturing and modern service” and accelerates the pace of economic improvement in Jinshan.”
Merlin currently operates 13 Midway attractions in China including LEGOLAND® Discovery Centers, Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE Centers, Dungeons, Peppa Pig World of Play and Little BIG City.
Dependent on opening schedules, LEGOLAND® Shanghai will be opened after LEGOLAND® New York (scheduled to open 2020) and LEGOLAND® Korea (scheduled to open 2022).
Images: Artist's impression of the entrance to Legoland Shanghai (top) and development partners at the signing of the (below, from left Nick Varney, Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, Chen Yin and Ma Chun Lei).
16th November 2019 - Legoland Malaysia goes cashless
30th September 2019 - Merlin Entertainments announce plans for LEGOLAND Resort in Western China
28th June 2019 - Lego owners lead £5 billion acquisition of Merlin Entertainments
23rd February 2019 - LEGOLAND Discovery Centre launches DUPLO Kids Club
28th November 2018 - Merlin Entertainments opens children’s immersive indoor attraction in Shanghai
17th October 2018 - New brands and resort theme parks drive Merlin Entertainments growth
21st June 2018 - Melbourne’s LEGOLAND Discovery Centre brings LEGO fun to Mt Hotham
6th February 2018 - IAAPA opens new Asia-Pacific regional office in Shanghai
5th February 2018 - Legoland Malaysia to expand with new Sea Life Aquarium
28th May 2017 - LEGOLAND Discovery Centre hosts first Adults Only night
22nd July 2017 - Poor ticket sales see Legoland Japan reduce opening days
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