Merlin Entertainments has announced it has joined forces with Global Zhongjun Cultural Tourism Development, to build and operate a Legoland Resort in China’s Sichuan province.

Merlin will operate the new resort and Global Zhongjun will run the construction and infrastructure of the project.

Two themed hotels will feature at the resort, with approximately 500 rooms.

Nick Varney, Merlin Entertainments’ CEO, commented: “There’s no doubt that China represents a great opportunity for strong global brands.

“Having been active in China for over a decade, Merlin has gained critical insights into Chinese consumers and built a broad portfolio of Midway attractions within key cities.

“Leveraging this position, we’re delighted to be able to announce the development of a Legoland Park in Sichuan Province together with a strong partner in Global Zhongjun.

“It is an exciting prospect and a significant milestone in the expansion of the Legoland estate in China,” Varney added.

Merlin Entertainments’ chief development officer said: “Sichuan Province has a strong tradition of welcoming people from all over, which aligns closely to our values as a business.

“Within it, Chengdu, Meishan and the Tianfu New Area is developing at a rapid pace driven by investment, enterprise and, increasingly, its popularity as a tourist destination.

“Our partner is a leading developer of tourism in the region with a great track record in delivering scale projects, and we look forward to working with them and the local community to bring the Legoland Resort experience to guests in Western China.”

Legoland Sichuan is due to open in 2023. It will be Merlin Entertainment’s eleventh Lego-themed park and will be the biggest Legoland resort in the world.