Bedford’s mayor joins Universal team to visit proposed theme park site in Kempston Hardwick

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Craig Austin - Director of Environment, Bedford Borough Council, John McReynolds, SVP External Affairs, Laura Church, Chief Executive, Bedford Borough Council, Page Thompson, President, New Ventures at Universal Destinations & Experiences, Mayor Tom Wootton, Cllr Spice The row behind, members of Universal, Environment Directorate and Cllr Weir. Image: Owen Billcliffe/owenbillcliffe.co.uk
Craig Austin - Director of Environment, Bedford Borough Council, John McReynolds, SVP External Affairs, Laura Church, Chief Executive, Bedford Borough Council, Page Thompson, President, New Ventures at Universal Destinations & Experiences, Mayor Tom Wootton, Cllr Spice The row behind, members of Universal, Environment Directorate and Cllr Weir. Image: Owen Billcliffe/owenbillcliffe.co.uk

The mayor of Bedford, Tom Wootton, joined members of the Universal Destinations and Experiences team at their proposed theme park site in Kempston Hardwick this week, reiterating that Bedford Borough was “open for business”.

On Monday, 11 March, the mayor told Page Thompson, President, of New Ventures and John McReynolds, SVP of External Affairs from Universal Destinations and Experiences that Bedford Borough was committed to delivering “tangible private sector business investment” in the area.

And while we await confirmation that the project is given the green light, in a statement to the Bedford Independent, a spokesperson for Universal Destinations and Experiences said: “Universal confirmed it is continuing to engage with local stakeholders like the Mayor and Bedford Borough Council as part of our feasibility and due diligence efforts.”

In an email sent to media this afternoon (Tuesday), Mr Wootton said, “I was delighted to visit with members of the Universal Destinations and Experiences team at their site in Kempston Hardwick.

“While they are still exploring the feasibility of bringing a potential theme park and resort experience here, it was great to meet with their team once again as they continue engaging with our local community.”

Mayor Tom Wootton along with Page Thompson, President, New Ventures at Universal Destinations & Experiences and John McReynolds, SVP External Affairs. Image: Owen Billcliffe / owenbillcliffe.co.uk
Mayor Tom Wootton along with Page Thompson, President, New Ventures at Universal Destinations & Experiences and John McReynolds, SVP External Affairs. Image: Owen Billcliffe/owenbillcliffe.co.uk

He said he has been speaking to residents and organisations in the area and, “one thing is clear – that a possible Universal Theme Park and Resort [would be] transformational for our area.

“It represents a significant opportunity for job creation and tourism promotion, all with a benefit to local businesses and further private sector business investment.

“Equally important, this project must work for local people. After my conversations with Universal and others, I believe it can provide jobs and exciting career and business opportunities for Bedford Borough residents for generations to come.”

He concluded by saying that the council was working in partnership with central Government and other partners to ensure local transport and investment in infrastructure is a top priority as part of the project.

“I’ll continue to keep residents updated on this process.”