Friday, October 14, 2016

News: Gulliver's Valley plans taking shape

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A council seminar hints at what the proposed £37m Gulliver's Family Theme Park resort will include as the authority waits on the submission of a detailed planning application for the site adjacent to Rother Valley Country Park in Rotherham.

Gulliver's, the operators of theme parks in Warrington, Matlock Bath and Milton Keynes developed an initial masterplan for the first of their sites in the UK to encompass all their major family entertainment elements in one location with new attractions exclusive to Rotherham.

The updated plans went on show in July as part of the consultation with the developers set to submit a more detailed planning application any day now.

The latest proposals, which will create around 400 jobs, will see Gulliver's buy a reduced area of the site (approximately 250 acres rather than the full 330 acres) from Rotherham Council and members of the team at Gulliver's provided an update on the proposals to councillors over the Summer.

Feedback from previous consultation events had led to a re-working of the Masterplan taking into account concerns raised regarding traffic, potential noise, spread of the development, the Trans Pennine Trail and the potential ground contamination on the site. The site of the Brookhouse Colliery included a coking works to the North West at Chesterfield Road and this land is set to be retained by the Council.

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The proposals for a year round destination aimed at 2 - 13 year olds include a theme park hub, woodland adventure centre, ecology and education centre, lodges, hotels and a holiday village. Expected to be built in four or five phases over 12 years, the theme park would come first and further developments would follow afterwards.

Nick and Rebecca Phillips, Dean Kimberley and Richard Welby from Gullivers explained their proposals to councillors. Gullivers Valley Theme Park will include seasonal and outdoor attractions, whereas the Gullivers Adventure Theme Park will include separate sections with more of an all year round indoor activity attraction surrounded by a farm park.

The main theme park is now in the centre of the site complete with a castle hotel and main street plus a log flume, rapids, pirate ship, mine train, and play areas.

Main Street is set to be an indoor, year round attraction including a splash zone, interactive play areas and NERF zone, as seen at other Gulliver's sites.

The farm park will include less rides and be more "hands on" including a giant vegetable patch and potting shed.
The masterplan includes Gulliver's Gears park with race tracks and rollercoasters and a motor heritage attraction showing classic cars, segways, mountain bike cycle track and other wheeled attractions. Gulliver's Glade features adventure play areas with a mud slide, zip lines, rope swings and rock climbing.

The surrounding wooded areas include the Wild West hotel and accommodation, dinosaur themed "Lost World" accommodation, space for glamping and the dream village concept offering specially designed and adapted accommodation for seriously and terminally ill children and children with special needs.

A Wilderness hotel and ecological centre are proposed around lakes in the North of the site and would include a community centre and events field.

Gulliver's explained that access would now be from Mansfield Road, closer to the M1, and that opening times would be 10.30am - 4pm school days. The peak times were school holidays and weekends. Admission prices are currently £15.95 with additional fees for the NERF and splash zones.

The development is expected to be funded through business profits with no borrowing requirements. Turnover at the group was £5.5m for the year ending December 2015, up 2.9% on the previous year. Pre-tax profit increased from £468,308 to £665,212.

Gulliver's Valley website

Images: Gulliver's


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