BREAKING: Universal Destinations & Experiences Confirms Purchase of Land, Possibly For New Universal Studios Great Britain Theme Park

Shannen Ace

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BREAKING: Universal Destinations & Experiences Confirms Purchase of Land, Possibly For New Universal Studios Great Britain Theme Park

It looks like we might be adding Universal Studios Great Britain to the list of future vacation destinations! After public records indicated Universal Destinations & Experiences acquired land in Bedford, England, Universal confirmed they are considering building a theme park in the area, per Bedford Independent and Orlando ParkStop.

universal destinations and experiences logo

There have been rumors of a European Universal Studios theme park for some time. Of course, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has proved popular enough for Universal to build two Wizarding Worlds in Universal Orlando Resort, with a third on the way, and copies of the original Hogsmeade at Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Japan, and Universal Studios Beijing. But English fans have sometimes wondered when they would get their real Hogwarts Castle. Now a real English Hogsmeade village could happen soon.

In September 2023, NBCUniversal registered the URLs “universalstudiosgreatbritain.com” and “universalgreatbritain.com,” as well as co.uk versions (via Whois). Around the same time, Comcast acquired and took control of the construction and development company Cloud Wing UK. With this acquisition, they also received the company’s land assets, including a 240-acre parcel in Bedford, England, located about 46 miles north of London. The “Kempston Hardwick New Settlement” is currently listed as having a mainly agricultural use and was for sale until mid-2023.

Comcast’s third quarter SEC report released in October stated they spent $271 million on “the acquisition of land for potential theme park expansion opportunities,” although they did not state where.

bedford universal land possible outline

A 2020 Bedford Business Park proposal shows the possible outline of the land that Universal has acquired, pictured above.

Universal Land Purchase Great Britain

Another image was later released by Universal Destinations & Experiences.

This month, there was a ground-breaking ceremony in the Bedfordshire county, home of Bedford for an upgrade to the A428, a major road running between Coventry and Cambridge. And whether purposeful foreshadowing or not, Bedford Mayor Tom Wootton said at the ground-breaking, “It puts Bedford in the center of the universe.” (via BBC)

The Bedford Independent confirmed with Universal that they did acquire the land and are in the early stages of theme park planning.

A spokesperson said, “We recently acquired land in Bedford and are at the early stages of exploring its feasibility for a potential park and resort at this site. It will be many months before we are ready to make a decision to proceed and we look forward to engaging with all relevant stakeholders and the local community.”

They have made no decisions on what will be in the park and said they “are still very early in planning this potential project.”

Bedford is not only within a couple hours’ drive of London but it’s also not far from the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London (which is actually in Leavesden, Watford).

“We support Bedford’s vision of becoming a prosperous place to live, work and visit and we take a proactive approach to partnering with local communities and stakeholders, like Bedford Borough Council, when pursuing potential projects,” the Universal spokesperson said,

Universal is also expanding their horizons with Universal Kids Resort in Frisco, Texas, and Universal Horror Unleashed in Las Vegas.

For more Universal Studios news from around the world, follow Universal Parks News Today on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. For Disney Parks news, visit WDWNT.

Author

  • Shannen Ace

    Shannen has been a Disney Parks fan and lover of dogs since childhood, despite Pluto's attempt to eat Shannen's Minnie Mouse doll the first time they met. They've made up now. You can email Shannen at shannen@wdwnt.com.