Bear Grylls Adventure attraction to be developed by Merlin Entertainments

Bear Grylls Adventure attraction to be developed by Merlin Entertainments

A Bear Grylls Adventure attraction is to be developed by UK theme park giant Merlin Entertainments.

The company plans to open the first Bear Grylls Adventure attraction in partnership with the survival expert in Birmingham next year.

A global chain of Peppa Pig-themed attractions is also in the pipeline in conjunction with Entertainment One (eOne).

In addision a Legoland in New York is to open in 2020 at a cost of more than £260 million.

The developments emerged as Merlin reported flat revenue over the summer due to “difficult trading” at London and European theme parks, blamed on a series of terrorist attacks and unfavourable weather.

Trading in recent weeks was described as “mixed” with like-for-like revenue for 2017 expected to be flat compared to last year.

“Whilst it is too early to predict the outlook for 2018, it is likely that the recent trends experienced in London will persist for the foreseeable future,” the company said.

Giving a trading update today for the 40 weeks to October 7, chief executive, Nick Varney, said: “After strong early season momentum across most of our businesses, we have experienced difficult trading over the summer period, as the spate of terror attacks witnessed in the UK marked an inflection point in Midway London and UK theme park trading.

“Poor weather in northern Europe and extreme weather in Italy and Florida also impacted peak season trading.

“Despite the diversity of our business – by geography, brand and visitor mix – our markets continue to be impacted by certain external shocks, not least terrorism which is currently at record levels of intensity in Europe.

“We also continue to face significant cost pressures, largely brought about by employment legislation, particularly in the UK.”

However, he added: “The exciting new partnerships with eOne and Bear Grylls, as well as the planned opening of Legoland New York in 2020, show there is plenty more magic to come.”

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