New Legoland theme park to open in Belgium by 2027

New Legoland theme park to open in Belgium by 2027
Illustration image of Legoland in Germany. Credit: Belga

A new Legoland theme park is expected to open doors near Charleroi Airport by 2027, the Walloon Government announced on Tuesday.

If everything goes to plan, the theme park will be built on the former industrial site of construction machinery builder Caterpillar in Gosselies, as a non-binding letter of intent was signed by Merlin Entertainments, Wallonia and the Federal Government today.

"This allows us to turn the painful page that was the closure of Caterpillar. Suffering is now giving way to hope and new employment opportunities are being offered to workers in our region," said Walloon Minister-President Elio Di Rupo in a press release.

"It also shows that Charleroi, like the Walloon Region, is resilient and forward-looking. The government's ambitious recovery plan aims to reinforce this dynamism," he added.

Final decision by end of 2022

Building the amusement park would cost between €370 and €400 million, of which Wallonia will pay €100 million, which would make it the second-largest investment in Wallonia in the past ten years, after the arrival of Google in Mons.

If the construction costs turn out to be much higher than currently estimated, partners will still be able to go back on their decision. A final decision on the project is only expected by the end of this year.

The park is scheduled to open to the public in 2027. From the start of construction, more than 1,000 new jobs would be created in the region, 70% of which would be reserved for low-skilled workers.

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Visitors are mainly expected to come from Wallonia, the Benelux and northern France. On average, the Legoland parks attract between 1.5 and 2 million people per year; projections expect this would be attainable in Charleroi as well.

Amusement parks entirely dedicated to Lego bricks already exist in three European countries (Denmark, Germany and the UK). The theme park in Charleroi would be the 14th Legoland park worldwide.

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