Bear Grylls adventure park for Birmingham and Peppa Pig goes global in Merlin plans
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Bear Grylls adventure park for Birmingham and Peppa Pig goes global in Merlin plans

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Merlin+Entertainments'>Merlin Entertainments has revealed plans for a Bear Grylls adventure park in Birmingham and a chain of attractions based on the Peppa Pig brand to launch worldwide.

The Bear Grylls attraction will open in 2018, targeting the adventure-based experiences market with a high ropes course and a skydiving experience at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC).

Earlier this year, Merlin lodged plans with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council for the secret £20m (US$26.4m, €22.3m) scheme, then dubbed “Project Thor”.

The 145,000sq ft (13,500sq m) park will have the capacity for up to 2,000 visitors a day, and feature a shop and café.

Merlin also disclosed a multi-territory agreement with Entertainment One (eOne) to open Peppa Pig themed attractions and accommodation outside of the UK.

The plans include the first standalone Peppa Pig theme park, set to open in 2019, and two new in-park Peppa Pig areas at existing theme parks in 2018.

Peppa Pig – one of the world’s leading pre-school IPs – is broadcast in 180 territories and in 40 different languages.

“The rollout of new attractions as part of this deal will further diversify our portfolio – by brand, customer type and geography,” said Merlin chief executive Nick Varney.

“Our Merlin Magic Making creative team is already well progressed in working with our partners at eOne to develop these new concepts which will complement our existing brands and extend our reach into the important pre-school market.”

The new partnerships were announced as part of a trading update from Merlin, with the operator reporting a 12.4 per cent rise in total revenue for the 40 weeks ended 7 October 2017. Like-for-like revenue, however, was flat due to “difficult summer trading” in Merlin’s midway London and European theme parks following "the series of terror attacks and unfavourable weather".

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Merlin Entertainments has revealed plans for a Bear Grylls adventure park in Birmingham and a chain of attractions based on the Peppa Pig brand to launch worldwide.
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