Land sale agreed for family theme park

Published Wednesday, 9th September 2015
Gullivers Theme Park
Gulliver's Theme Park

A well-known family theme park is on track to open, adjacent to Rother Valley Country Park.

Rotherham Council has agreed to sell the former Pithouse West opencast colliery site to Gulliver's Family Theme Parks, who currently run parks at Matlock Bath, Warrington and Milton Keynes.

The ‘minded to’ decision is subject to certain conditions being met and planning permission being approved but, if successful, building work could start as early as next year.

Gulliver’s Valley Resort would be developed in four or five phases over a 12 year period. It would be the first of the company's sites in the UK to encompass all their major family entertainment elements in one location.

Plans include a year round family resort aimed at two to thirteen-year-olds offering rides, attractions, soft play and indoor fun, centred on themed areas around a main fairytale castle. To complement this would be a number of hub attractions, including Splash, Nerf and Adventure zones as well as Gully Town Tots and Main Street.

Other phases in the future include a woodland adventure centre, an education and ecology centre, a 100-bedroom hotel and 300 woodland lodges.

In agreeing to the sale of the 333-acre site Commissioner Julie Kenny said she was "absolutely delighted" to see such a well-established family company planning to locate in the area.

She added: "This is a second-generation family-run business with a proven track record for building and operating family entertainment developments and I am proud that Gulliver's has chosen the borough to develop their 'Valley Resort’. 

"It is third-time lucky for the Council in the sale of this important site as two different sale agreements were entered into in the past decade. Both the previous agreements were terminated due to lack of progress but this time we are dealing with a self-financing family company who have been operating successfully for nearly 40 years."

Cllr Denise Lelliott, Rotherham Council's Advisory Cabinet Member for Housing and the Local Economy, said it was an ‘extremely exciting’ development for the borough.

"Not only will it provide a year-round family resort for the under thirteens but will also result in a massive boost to the area and the local economy. It will bring in jobs, training expertise and benefits and will complement activities at the adjacent Rother Valley Country Park."