Building work is set to begin on the £37m ($52.5m) Gulliver’s Valley Resort theme park in South Yorkshire, one year after planning permission was officially confirmed.
The Gulliver’s Valley Resort development was granted planning permission by Rotherham Council in March 2017. It is to be built on the 101-hectare (250-acre) former Pithouse West colliery site in the Rother Valley.
Speaking to The Star ahead of construction starting, Julie Dalton, managing director of Gulliver’s, said: “Rotherham is very forward thinking and positive and there is a ‘can do’ attitude in business. Dealing with the council and local residents has been a very good experience.
“It’s my first big development from the ground up. It’s exciting and a bit scary – it’s a big piece of land. At 250-acres it’s bigger than all our parks put together.”
The first buildings at Gulliver’s Valley should start appearing from June, with the resort expected to open in 2020.
The theme park will be aimed at children aged 2-13 years old and feature a mix of outdoor and indoor attractions including a wooden roller coaster, log flume, rapid rides and pirate ship.
In addition to the family theme park attractions, the resort will feature an indoor water play zone, a climbing centre, a glades attraction, and an education and ecology centre with forest classrooms and outdoor learning adventures for young children.
Accommodation will include glamping, self-catering woodland lodges and the central Lilliput Castle Hotel.
Gulliver’s Valley will also include Gully’s Dream Village, where children with life-threatening illnesses can be given the chance to enjoy cost-free respite.
In addition, the local community will benefit from access to the site’s nature trails, walks, outdoor gyms and woodland runs.
Dalton added: “The Coal Board did a great restoration job and there are lakes and walkways, and wildlife has taken over so much that you wouldn’t know its former use – it has more of a country park feel. And we will design around it.
“It’s a chance for us to have all the best bits or our other sites in one place and more accommodation.”
Gulliver’s Valley will be the fourth UK theme park project for Gulliver’s, the other sites being in Warrington, Matlock Bath and Milton Keynes.