Following two failed attempts by other companies at redeveloping a former coal mine in Rotherham, theme park operator Gulliver’s have submitted £37m plans to transform the site into a large children’s theme park.
Plans have been submitted by theme park operator Gulliver’s for a new £37m children’s attraction on the site of Pit House West in South Yorkshire. The firm bought the land from Rotherham Council a year ago, however the plan announced on the 27 October has been the first indication of progress.
The proposals outline that construction of the new park will be spaced over 12 to 15 years, and could start next year if approved, with the first phase due for completion in 2020.
The new theme park, which is hoped to attract 25,000 visitors a week, will be called Gulliver’s Valley, with more than 40 rides for children aged 2-13 built around a 20m fairytale castle and a 40m rotating observation tower. There will also be three themed hotels with a total of 244 bedrooms, holiday lodges and a spa. Eventually, an indoor water play zone, Nerf Zone, climbing area and an ecology centre for young children will be added, along with a “dream village” in which seriously and terminally-ill children will be given free holidays in special accommodation.
These are our most ambitious plans to date. As our fourth theme park project, Gulliver’s Valley will bring together the best elements of our existing parks plus a huge amount of our experience and learning from the last 38 years when my father opened our very first park in Matlock Bath.
Gulliver’s managing director, Julie Dalton, said: “These are our most ambitious plans to date. As our fourth theme park project, Gulliver’s Valley will bring together the best elements of our existing parks plus a huge amount of our experience and learning from the last 38 years when my father opened our very first park in Matlock Bath. Gulliver’s Valley is set to give the area an economic boost as we look to use a local supply chain and bring tourism pounds into the local economy. It will be a real positive for the Rother Valley community.”
Gulliver’s plans for the site mark the third attempt by a company to develop the former coal mine. In 2003 it was announced it would be the home of a £350m project called YES!, encompassing a 5,000-seat indoor arena for the Sheffield Steelers ice hockey team. This plan was dropped six years ago in favour of a £100m theme park called Visions of China, however the council cancelled the scheme two years ago, blaming a lack of progress.