The London Resort, the UK's £5bn answer to Disneyland, just got one step closer to becoming reality and is now considering potential suppliers to help it run the 500-acre theme park.

One of Europe's most ambitious theme park projects ever, the London Resort has invited businesses to come forward and register interest in helping deliver and supply the two twinned parks.

The theme park is planned to be built across 535 acres of the Swanscombe Marshes between Dartford and Gravesend, opening its doors in 2024, with the project effectively now entering the 'pre-procurement phase' of development this week.

But this step forward will be seen as a positive sign after years of setbacks for the London Resort, including a fierce battle with environmental protesters over the last six months which has threatened to derail the whole project.

In a statement, the London Resort announced they had launched a Register of Interest for businesses wanting to become a supplier for the ambitious theme park project.

News Shopper: Plans for the London Resort have been in the works for over 10 years Plans for the London Resort have been in the works for over 10 years

The developers said businesses are set to benefit from £50bn of gross economic activity (GVA) due to the park over an initial 25-year period, with local counties and businesses "expected to benefit greatly."

Tim Aker, Development Manager for the Kent and Medway Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said, “The London Resort is a fantastic opportunity for small businesses in the south east.

"This is a chance for SMEs to be part of the supply chain and take advantage of the economic benefits this project will bring to the region.

"At a time when the country needs investment, this will have positive effects on the local and wider economy. We encourage SMEs to register and see what part they can play in this exciting development.”

News Shopper: If approved, the London Resort will be built on 500 acres of the Swanscombe MarshesIf approved, the London Resort will be built on 500 acres of the Swanscombe Marshes

“Businesses of all shapes and sizes have a critical role to play in this unique project,” commented Andy Martin, Strategy and Communications Director for the London Resort. “The Register of Interest will help us understand more about the type and size of businesses that are interested in becoming a supplier.”

The London Resort said that 48,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs will be created by 2038, 50% of which will come from local communinites of Dartford, Gravesham and Thurrock.

There are many types of business that can get involved, with opportunities for a wide range of local, regional and national businesses.

The information provided will help to inform The Resort’s approach to supply chain engagement including how best to ensure small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and local businesses have opportunities to be part of this gamechanger for the UK’s entertainment and leisure industry.

“To date about 13,500 people and businesses have signed-up for project updates,” added Martin. “If a business has provided details before though, we are asking them to complete the new register of interest form to ensure we have the most up-to-date details about their business and operations.”

News Shopper: The theme park project has been dubbed the UK's answer to DisneylandThe theme park project has been dubbed the UK's answer to Disneyland

Three times bigger than any other theme park in the UK, the resort will include a massive rollercoaster-filled theme park, a large hotel complex, convention centre, water park and space for a second site opening a few years after the first site.

However, the plans have come under fire from environmentalists due to the marshes' "rich diversity of wildlife", including the presence of a critically endangered jumping spider.

And following a campaign, the marshes were declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest by Natural England, making it harder for development plans to pass through.

In response, the CEO of the London Resort Holdings Ltd, PY Gerbeau, tweeted out last month revealing they were asking for a delay to allow them to review their plans ahead of a crucial decision on planning permission.

Businesses interested in being part of the London Resort’s supply chain should register their interest here: