Puy du Fou reveal £300m UK theme park plans near M40

Last year, Puy du Fou, a historical-themed attraction, declared its interest in wanting a 300 to 400-acre site within a 40-mile radius of Oxford[1] for a new theme park. Now theme park bosses are proposing for the new attraction to be built in Cherwell, north of Bicester, by the M40. It is said the attraction could employ 700 people, plus create as many as 2,000 new jobs at hotels, suppliers and other local businesses, from its first year of opening.

A public consultation website has been launched and consultation events are planned for Bicester and Oxford later this month. The first consultation will take place at Weyland Hall on North Street in Bicester on Thursday, July 18 between noon and 7pm. A second consultation will be held at Wesley Memorial Church on New Inn Hall Street in Oxford between noon and 6pm on Friday, July 19.

(Image: Puy du Fou) The company has previously said it intends to open two new destinations in the world before 2030, with the UK remaining a preferred location. The award-winning attraction currently operates in two locations, Les Epesses in the Pays de la Loire region of western France and Toledo in central Spain.

The original Puy du Fou show opened in France in 1978, and was joined by the Spanish destination in 2021. In France the shows are themed around the Roman Empire, the Musketeers, the Vikings, Joan of Arc, the heroic soldiers of the First World War, and the pioneers of cinema. The proposed new site in the UK would celebrate British history and culture.

Olivier Strebelle, chief executive of Puy du Fou, said: "We are not an attraction like you have ever experienced before. "We do not have any rides or rollercoasters; there are no neon flashing lights. "Instead, we create an authentic, natural and historical environment set within beautiful gardens, which become the setting for world-class shows and immersive cultural and historical experiences for the whole family to enjoy.

"With Britain's rich history, and with so many British people already visiting us in France and Spain, we have been looking for a site in the country for many years, and we have now identified the perfect location near Bicester in Oxfordshire. "A new Puy du Fou destination in Oxfordshire would represent a GBP300 million investment and could employ 700 people, plus create as many as 2,000 new jobs at hotels, suppliers and other local businesses, from its first year of opening. "After 10 years, that investment is expected to be doubled, and the number of jobs multiplied by three.

"We are still at the early stages of preparing our proposals but look forward to meeting local residents and businesses as part of our public consultation." Help support trusted local news Sign up for a digital subscription now: https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/subscribe/[4]

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