A new Legoland theme park is set to open at the old Caterpillar industrial site in Charleroi in 2027, reports RTBF.
A deal was signed on Tuesday between Merlin Entertainment, the Wallonia Region (Sogepa) and the Federal Government (SFPI).
This tourist attraction has the potential to create over 1,000 jobs, including 800 direct jobs, mostly for low-skilled workers.
A final decision on the park is expected by the end of 2022 and is expected to open by 2027.
The investment is estimated at between 370-400 million euros, making it the second largest project in the Walloon region after Google in Mons. Amounts are provided by several partners, including federal and state agencies and banks.
The creation of the park will strengthen ecotourism not only in the Walloon region, but also in continental Europe. Its target customers are mainly Belgium, other Benelux countries, northern France and visitors from far away who spend a few days in Belgium.
Technical and market research has highlighted the potential of a former industrial site in Gosselies, Hainaut. It has the advantage of being in the heart of a densely populated area and close to highways, train stations and airports.
“The appeal of the LEGO brand suggests we could reach 21 million visitors within a two-hour drive from the site,” said the partner. In general, this type of theme he parks receive 1.5 to 2 million visitors per year. Projections suggest that Belgian parks are seeing similar levels of success.
In total, Legoland will cover an area of 70 hectares, while a 20-hectare land reserve could allow for future development.
Due to the current economic situation and the potential for cost spikes, the signed contract included an exit strategy. Investment costs, including the cleanup of former industrial sites, will be the subject of more detailed scrutiny in the coming weeks and months.
Soresic, the current owner of the land, will be responsible for preparing the site for construction. Merlin Entertainment is focused on maintaining high environmental standards.
The site is acquired through a joint venture between investors Sogepa and SFPI. The first partnership agreed on Tuesday established a broad collaborative framework for the project.
Merlin currently owns 10 theme parks, three of which are under construction in China, making it the European market leader and number two. The world behind Disney.
Photo: Legoland Hotel © Merlin Entertainment
https://www.thebulletin.be/new-legoland-park-planned-charleroi-2027 New Legoland Park planned for Charleroi in 2027