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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 June, 2005, 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK
Dickens theme park work to begin
Artist's impression of Dickens World
An artist's impression shows Chatham's planned Dickens World
Work begins on a 60m tourist attraction celebrating the life of Charles Dickens on Friday.

Dickens World will be built on derelict dockland in Chatham, Kent, close to where the writer lived as a child.

Believed to be one of the biggest undercover attractions in the world, it will house rides based on Dickens' works, a cinema, bars and restaurants.

The four-acre attraction is expected to draw 300,000 visitors a year when it is completed in 2007.

It will reproduce Victorian architecture, with cobbled streets and specialist lighting providing the background to rides and other entertainment.

Medway Council hopes the local economy will receive a boost with an estimated 200 jobs created at the site alone.

Entertainment facilities such as the themed bars and restaurants should be open by October 2006.


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