The opening – which will create more than 500 jobs – is anticipated for late 2014 /early 2015, when KidZania London will join more than a dozen locations that have served more than 25 million children worldwide.
Longshot Kids will develop and operate the facilities in an exclusive licence agreement with KidZania, which covers Great Britain.
Creating over 500 new jobs, KidZania adds to the leisure offer at Westfield London, which already includes a Vue cinema, over 50 places to eat and a state of the art Gymbox. It is anticipated that KidZania London will attract up to 1 million visitors a year on its own.
KidZania will be located at Westfield London above the existing Marks & Spencer. Westfield secured planning approval to create an additional floor above Marks & Spencer, with approximately 7,249 sq m of floor space for KidZania. Construction work is expected to start this summer.
KidZania will provide children and their parents with a safe, unique, and highly realistic educational environment that allows children between the ages of four and 14 to do what comes naturally to them: role-playing by mimicking grown-up jobs.
The indoor venue is a city built to scale for children, complete with buildings, paved streets, vehicles, a functioning economy, and recognisable physical activities in the form of “establishments” sponsored and branded by leading multi-national and local brands. At two-thirds of their actual size, all facilities are designed to be just the right size for children.
Parents can leave their children at KidZania for up to 4 hours while they shop, watch a movie or dine.
Ollie Vigors, Director of Longshot Kids Ltd, commented: “Key to KidZania’s worldwide success is working with internationally renowned brands and we are in the process of developing partnerships with some of the UK’s leading business and brands. We will be making further announcements later this year.”
Westfield’s Director of Operations, Bill Giouroukos said: “As our centre is fully leased, to create the space for KidZania, Westfield secured planning approval to expand the Westfield London shopping centre above the existing Marks & Spencer to create enough floor space for KidZania.”
Frank Wingate of West London Business explained: “This opportunity represents a significant new investment in Shepherd’s Bush, creating over 500 much needed new jobs in the local area in a range of roles. It will also boost the local economy by increasing visitor dwell time, therefore helping to increase footfall and trade in existing local shops in the area.”