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Subject: Chinese theme park devoted to British teddy bears

Written By: Philip Eno on 09/21/15 at 12:23 pm

China will soon have an amusement park dedicated entirely to British-themed teddy bears.

The site will cover nearly 1,000 acres in a district just south of Beijing, and at its heart will be a teddy bear museum, the South China Morning Post reports. Costing 50 million yuan ($7.8m; £5m), the park is being billed as a "low carbon teddy bear paradise", as it will sit within a new town which has been designed to be environmentally friendly, the report says. It's a joint venture between the UK-based Great British Teddy Bear Company and a Chinese architectural firm, which hopes to attract 250,000 visitors annually once the park opens next year.

Among the attractions, visitors will be able to experience William Shakespeare's plays as interpreted by giant teddies. The park will allow "families of all generations to interact, create memories and have a British experience", says Paul Jessup, the British company's founder. China is a major market for their bears, which are based on famous figures from British history and fiction. A Sherlock Holmes bear has done particularly well owing to the popularity of the BBC television series with Chinese audiences.

British culture has long been popular in China. In 2006, a development known as Thames Town was completed near Shanghai. The town is designed to look like a traditional British market town, with cobbled streets, mock-Tudor buildings and, of course, pubs. Its quaint backdrops are popular with couples who want their wedding photos to have a British flavour.

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