Knaresborough Chamber of Trade and Commerce has welcomed the news of plans to build a £250m leisure attraction near Knaresborough, dubbed the ‘Disneyland of food,’ describing it as just ‘the tonic the town needs’ to boost its economy.
With a mixture of restaurants, food outlets and a farm, Future Park would be operated by Eataly, the largest Italian food hall chain in the UK, and be similar to Fico Eataly World, which opened near Bologna just over a year ago.
The attraction would be built off the A1 near Knaresborough.
Plans are due to be submitted in June by Yorkshire developers Fallons, and those involved in the project said it would be one of the UK’s “most significant cultural and energy-efficient attractions to be built in the 21st Century.”
The president of Knaresborough Chamber of Trade, Steve Teggin, said: “The chamber of trade are absolutely over the moon that such an attraction could come so close to Knaresborough. It is absolutely the tonic that Knaresborough needs to boost its finances. We would welcome it with open arms without a doubt if it was given the go-ahead.
"It would be a huge boost not just for Knaresborough, but for Harrogate and the whole district. Traders are overwhelmed by the news of these plans and what it could mean for Knaresborough.”
If the plans are approved, project managers estimate that the attraction could draw 3.5 million visitors to the area.
Mr Teggin said: “This could help with the problem of having empty shops in Knaresborough - a footfall increase would boost the town and hopefully ensure that empty shops won’t stay empty for long.”
The attraction would be the second of its kind to open in the UK, after its planned site in London. Fallons hopes to start construction work in 18 months if the plans are approved, with the park expected to open in 2022.
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