Universal Studios – home to Harry Potter and Transformers rides – has written to residents in Bedfordshire about its ‘potential’ plans to build a theme park and resort there.

With locations across the US, in Japan, China, and Singapore, the conglomerate is now considering adding a European destination to its portfolio.

A 480-acre parcel of land near Bedford was purchased by the Hollywood giant in August for $271 million, but it will take several months before a decision is made.

A new website, detailing information and plans about a possible Universal Theme Park, has now been launched to address concerns from locals.

John Reynolds, from the company’s external affairs, wrote in a letter on Universal UK Project: ‘Universal Destinations and Experiences, which is part of Comcast Corporation and based in the United States, is in the very early stages of exploring the possibility of a potential park and resort experience at this location.

‘While we do own the land, we are only at the beginning of our feasibility study as part of our evaluation of potential sites.

‘It may well therefore be many months before we decide whether to proceed with the project.’

He said Universal had ‘a strong track record of working together with local communities as we consider any new project’.

‘Engaging with the local community in Bedford, Kempston Hardwick, Stewartby, Wixams, Wootton, and elsewhere will be no different,’ he added.

Mr Reynolds also stressed ‘there is still a long way to go’, adding that there may not be any more information to share in the near term.

The new site is a 15-minute drive from the main town centre and is near Kempston Hardwick railway station – the least used station in the county – and Luton Airport.

It was previously a brickworks and after its demolition was completed in 2021, the area was earmarked for 1,000 new homes.

More than half of the population in the UK live within two hours of the location, and it is just 45 minutes away from London.

Mayor of Bedford borough council Tom Wootton told the BBC: ‘The suggestion of a major business investment is of course positive, nevertheless these are early days and much detailed work is required before any decisions are made.

‘We very much welcome and are excited by the interest from Universal and the immense potential for it to be transformative for the borough.’

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2023-12-24T13:01:30Z dg43tfdfdgfd