Plans for Legoland theme park in Charleroi scrapped
Plans for a Legoland theme park at Gosselies, near Charlerloi (Hainaut) have been shelved. The news that the Merlin Group that owns Legoland has abandoned its plans for a theme park in Wallonia first appeared in the Francophone media and have since been confirmed by the group in a press statement.
Last summer, the Walloon government announced that a new Legoland amusement park would open on the former Caterpillar site at Gosselies. An non-binding letter of intent had been signed with Merlin Entertainments that owns the other Legoland theme parks such as the one at Windsor, around 30km west of London.
The park was due to be ready by 2027 and would create more than 1,000 new jobs. The aim was to attract 1.5 to 2 million visitors per annum and achieve an annual turnover of 120 million euro. The construction project to build the theme park would have cost an estimated 400 million euro. However, 7 months later, Merlin is withdrawing from the project.
The Walloon Economy Minister Willy Borsus (Francophone liberal) says that the decision made by Merlin has little to do with issues here in Belgium, but rather is part of a review of the company’s international activities and strategy.
"The existing parks and parks that are still under construction are given priority over further expansion of activities", Mr Borsus said.
This is confirmed by the Merlin group in a statement: "Merlin Entertainments has strategically decided to shift the focus to investments in our current Legoland Resorts, including the three parks planned to open in China in 2025."