Monday, October 22, 2018

News: Gulliver's to bring forward accommodation to first phase at Rotherham resort

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£1.5m of investment looks to be heading to Rotherham to support the Gulliver's Valley leisure development and help bring forward further accommodation into the first phase.

The cash is being set aside by the Sheffield city region to support the £37m Gulliver's Valley development where work has recently got underway on land alongside Rother Valley Country Park.

A year round destination aimed at 2 - 13 year olds is being created which includes a theme park hub, woodland adventure centre, ecology and education centre, lodges, hotels and a holiday village.

Rothbiz has previously reported on the risks encountered by the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority (CA) and its large scale investment programme that is backed by the Government's Local Growth Fund (LGF).

Infrastructure projects such as the Superfast South Yorkshire broadband scheme and the BRT North transport scheme have utilised cash from the six year, £360m pot, but with projects that have underspent, or where spend has slipped into later years, the programme was opened up to ensure that the city region spends all of its growth funding.

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A £400,000 grant from the Sheffield City Region Infrastructure Fund (SCRIF), and a £1.1m loan, is being sought that would be used for the new junction from the A618 to open up the site with further work planned on developing the centre.

The business case outlines that the funding will support the £7.5m first phase and 93 new jobs. It would enable Gulliver's to invest £6m and accelerate the creation of accommodation on the site.

The documents state: "This project specifically will accelerate delivery of elements of the visitor accommodation planned as part of the Resort, bringing forward accommodation units into phase 1 of the development (to open in 2020) rather than being delivered in phase 2 of the scheme (2024). This acceleration of visitor accommodation delivery will establish the resort as a short stay destination from day one of operation.

"Gulliver's has already completed three similar projects, all of which have been self funded and profitable. As a business, Gulliver's do not take on any project that they do not consider to be a viable proposition, nor one that would have a negative impact on the company values. By building on a phased approach with each phase funding the next one, the build out will be steady, but crucially will not be encumbered by heavy financing costs that many larger scale developments carry.

"However, costs associated with the project have increased significantly due to the complexity of the site's history and difficult access arrangements from the highway network. The site was a former pit, open cast mine and has been used historically as a landfill site. The A618 is a busy route that will require increased traffic management measures to facilitate access to Gulliver's Valley."

In the North of the borough, Rotherham Council is close to securing a grant of £1.6m for around 17,000 sq ft of new floor space at its Century Business Centre for office and clean manufacturing "move on" space.

The £3.2m project for phase 2 plans to generate 110 gross additional jobs by 2024/25. Operated by RiDO, the regeneration arm of Rotherham Council, since it was built in 2000, Century has enjoyed occupancy rates of over 96% in the last three years.

A final sign off from the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority is expected next week.

Gulliver's Valley website
RiDO website
SCR website

Images: Gulliver's

1 comments:

Martyn Benson,  October 22, 2018 at 11:22 PM  

Delighted to see that, all being well, Century Business Centre will soon have it's own 'grow on' space. That next stage option for incubated businesses should speed their development. It's just a great pity that interference in the previous decade prevented 'Century' from having the recommended 'grow on' space then - which would have been ideal to follow up on the early successes at 'Century'.

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