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Wednesday, 9th July 2014
In Japan Entertainment News,

Japan to have Legoland attraction

Merlin Entertainments is set to capitalise on Japan's market for theme parks - the second largest in the world - by opening a new Legoland attraction in the city of Nagoya.

According to a statement released yesterday by the company, it was confirmed the model will be designed to be a replica of Merlin's tried-and-tested formula, which has been the basis for six other parks based on the much-loved toy.

It is expected that the new attraction will cost around 32 billion yen (£18 million) to develop, with the majority of the funding coming from a third-party company.

Merlin will directly invest ¥9.2 billion in the park over the next three years, leasing the balance of assets from a company owned by Kirkbi Invest.

Nick Varney, Merlin Entertainments chief executive, described the new park as a major milestone in developing the Legoland brand.

"We are delighted to be working closely with the city of Nagoya and with Kirkbi on the project, both of whom appreciate the potential of the brand in the second biggest theme park market in the world," he said.

"The park will make a significant contribution to the growth of the Merlin group from opening in the second quarter of 2017, as well as supporting our continued geographic diversification."

It is hoped that Nagoya will prove to be an excellent place for the park as the city is ideally located in the centre of the country, just two hours from Tokyo and one hour from Osaka, the nation's largest cities.

An actual site for the new Legoland has yet to be confirmed, although Merlin has said it will likely be near the port where it can take advantage of excellent road and rail links.

Japan's theme park market is the largest in Asia and the second largest in the world, after that of the US. Other theme park attractions include Universal Studios Osaka, which recently opened it's Wizarding World of Harry Potter segment to much acclaim.