Merlin enters agreement to build a Legoland resort in Shanghai
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Merlin enters agreement to build a Legoland resort in Shanghai

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Shanghai is already the home for many Merlin brands
– Nick Varney

Shanghai is to become a major theme park destination, with a proposed new Legoland park, expected to open after 2023, projected to be one of the largest Legoland Resorts in the world.

Merlin Entertainments, Lego Group majority owner KIRKBI, and content creator CMC Inc. have signed an agreement with the Shanghai Jinshan District Government to develop the resort in south west of the city.

The region, which comprises Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui, has an estimated population of 220 million people.

Under the terms of the agreement, all of the parties involved will form a joint venture company and contribute funding to the construction and development. The Legoland Shanghai project is expected to cost around £500m (US$644m, €581m), and will incorporate a 250-room fully themed hotel.

China has become a strategic growth market for Lego Group, with 220 stores expected to have been opened in the country by the end of 2020, and with a production facility to supply products to China and the Asia-Pacific region that opened in Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province in 2016.

Merlin Entertainments currently has 13 Midway attractions in China, including Legoland Discovery Centers, Madame Tussauds, Sea Life Centers, and Peppa Pig World of Play. New Legoland resorts are due to open in New York (scheduled in 2020) and Korea (scheduled in 2022) before the Shanghai park opens its doors.

Nick Varney, CEO of Merlin Entertainments, commented: "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."

With a Disney resort in the east, and a Legoland park in the west of the region, Shanghai can also promote itself as a major theme park destination, according to Hu Wei Guo, mayor of Jinshan District, who added: "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."

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Shanghai is to become a major theme park destination, with a proposed new Legoland park, expected to open after 2023, projected to be one of the largest Legoland Resorts in the world.
TAW,VAT
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