Thursday, September 10, 2015

News: Gulliver's Valley theme park proposals welcomed

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Building work could start next year on the proposed Gulliver's Valley Resort in Rotherham which would see over £37m of investment, creating approximately 125 full time jobs and a total of around 325 part time jobs.

Rothbiz revealed yesterday that Rotherham Council had made the "minded to" decision to enable them to negotiate the completion of the sale of 333 acres of greenbelt land located to the north of Rother Valley Country Park.

When complete the new resort will include a theme park hub, woodland adventure centre, ecology and education centre, "glamping" and woodland lodges, a hotel and holiday village.

Julie Dalton, managing director of Gulliver's, said: "We're really excited at the prospect of realising our dreams at Gulliver's Valley and reproducing all the best elements of our existing three UK parks together on one site.

"We want to create a "whole park feel", with nature trails, walks, outdoor gyms and woodland runs which can be used by our guests and the local community alike. Plus of course, the family theme park hub, which will be developed and operated in line with our core value of providing great value family days out that are big on fun."

The first phase of developing Gulliver's Valley will be the theme park hub and associated areas, taking around two years. This will comprise the usual mix of rides, attractions, shows and experiences for children up to 13, plus ancillary attractions such as the Splash Zone and Nerf Zone attractions already popular at other Gulliver's parks.

The first of their sites in the UK to encompass all their major family entertainment elements in one location, the Rotherham resort is expected to see Gulliver's invest over £37m which is expected to be funded through business profits with no borrowing requirements.

Julie Kenny, commissioner at Rotherham Council, said: "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, advisory cabinet member for Housing and the Local Economy at Rotherham Council, added: "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."

It is anticipated that officers will be negotiating the final terms of the sale agreement over the coming 6-8 weeks. This will enable Gulliver's to prepare and submit a planning application prior to the expiry of the existing outline planning consent in December 2015.

This is the third time the Council has sought interested from developers for the site of the former Brookhouse Colliery. Outline planning approval was granted for the £350m YES! Project in 2007 and updated plans were approved in September 2010. The £118m Visions of China proposal didn't even reach the planning application stage before it was shelved last year.

Gulliver's Valley website

Images: Gulliver's

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