In what is seen as a major boon for the economy in south Yorkshire, north Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, the Gulliver’s Valley family resort will open at the former Pithouse West Colliery site.
After gaining planning permission from Rotherham Council, the scheme has now been backed by Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for communities and local government. It means the resort is on target to open in 2020.
Delighted Gulliver’s, who have been running theme parks for more than 40 years, say the Pithouse project is “our most ambitious yet”.
Gulliver’s Valley will revolve around a theme park offering rides and attractions aimed at children aged two to 13 and their families. But it will also include an indoor water play zone, a climbing centre, a glades attraction and an education and ecology centre encompassing forest classrooms and outdoor learning adventures for youngsters.
The 250-acre site will also be home to family-friendly accommodation in the shape of glamping, self-catering woodland lodges and a central hotel called Lilliput Castle.
Gulliver’s managing director Julie Dalton said: “It’s absolutely wonderful to know that our vision for Gulliver’s fourth UK theme park is going to become a reality. It will give the area a huge economic boost, and will be a real positive for the Rother Valley community.”
Rotherham Council has long agreed to the principle of a significant leisure development at the Pithouse site. At one time, the world’s first Chinese cultural theme park was in the pipeline.
Coun Denise Lelliott described Gulliver’s Valley as “great news” and added: “We agreed to sell the land to Gulliver’s in 2015. We now look forward to a fantastic facility for local families. It will bring in visitors and provide jobs for local people. We are proud and excited that Gulliver’s has chosen this area.”