Theme Park plans a step closer

Published Wednesday, 1st June 2016
Gullivers Theme Park
Gulliver's Theme Park

Plans to open a family theme park adjacent to Rother Valley Country Park are another step closer after Rotherham Council formally agreed the sale of land to Gulliver’s Family Theme Parks.

Rotherham Council’s Lead Commissioner, Sir Derek Myers, gave the go-ahead for sale of 250 acres of land at the former Pithouse West opencast colliery site at Thursday’s Council’s Cabinet/Commissioner decision-making meeting.

The decision was made following a period of negotiation with Gulliver’s, which has also been undertaking consultation with residents in the area, and follows a “minded-to” decision by Supporting Commissioner Julie Kenny last September.

Once the sale has taken place, proposals will still need to go through the planning process. If successful, building work could start as early as next year.

Gulliver's Family Theme Parks currently run parks at Matlock Bath, Warrington and Milton Keynes. 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 13-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.

Commissioner Kenny said she was "delighted" that the proposals had taken another step forward: "This is a 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’.”

Cllr Denise Lelliott, Rotherham Council's Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, added that the proposals would bring great benefits to the borough.

She said: "As well as being a fantastic facility for local families, this development will also result in a massive boost to the area and our local economy. It will bring in jobs, training expertise and benefits as well as complementing the existing activities at nearby Rother Valley Country Park."