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Last Updated:  Monday, 24 March, 2003, 09:20 GMT
Author's plan for 'Horrible' theme park
Horrible books by Terry Deary
Terry Deary's 'Horrible' series of books are popular with children
Bestselling author Terry Deary has unveiled plans for a Disney-style theme park for the north-east of England.

The County Durham-based writer is in talks with South Tyneside Council about the massive project.

Mr Deary is best known for his Horrible Histories series, which is popular with youngsters.

He said: "This will be a massive project.

"I'm looking at something on an enormous scale, something that will really put this region on the map the way Disney World has done for Florida.

"We're not exactly sure where it will be, but we are currently talking to South Tyneside.

"The South Tyneside area has long been linked to Catherine Cookson. But the council is looking to get it something which will attract a younger audience.

'Very big venture'

"It will be a whole new experience based on the books and will feature different areas, from education to crafts.

"I'm looking for this to be a very big venture, something that will bring a lot of employment to the region and be a place which pulls people in from all over the country and even the world.

"Something like this would really put the North East on the map.

He hopes the theme park will be open in 2008, the year Newcastle and Gateshead are hoping to win the European Capital of Culture title.

A spokeswoman from South Tyneside Council said: "We have had meetings with Terry Deary to discuss plans for a theme park which would be based around the Horrible Histories books.

"The talks are in the very early stages, but we are looking towards the feasibility of such a project, which would be a great asset to South Tyneside."

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