Sheffield & South Yorkshire

£37m theme park plan for Rotherham Pithouse West colliery site

Land close to Rother Valley Country Park Image copyright Google Streetview
Image caption The Gulliver attraction is set to be built on land close to Rother Valley Country Park in South Yorkshire

A £37m theme park is set to be built on the site of a former coal mine in South Yorkshire.

The Pithouse West opencast colliery site, near Rother Valley Park, has been sold by Rotherham Council to the Gulliver's Family Theme Parks firm.

The Gulliver's company said on its website the rolling development of the site would cost about £37m.

The plan includes a theme park, adventure centre, "glamping" woodland lodges, a hotel and holiday village.

Rotherham Council said its decision was subject to certain conditions being met and planning permission being approved but, if successful, building work could start "as early as next year".

In a statement the authority said: "Gulliver's Valley Resort would be developed in four or five phases over a 12-year period."

The Gulliver's company said its development of the Pithouse West site - the site of the former Brookhouse Colliery, which closed in 1985 - was planned to be "sympathetic, retaining and enhancing large areas of existing woodland as attractive elements of the resort".

Managing director Julie Dalton said: "We want to create a 'whole park feel', with nature trails, walks, outdoor gyms and woodland runs which can be used by our guests and the local community alike."

The first phase of developing Gulliver's Valley would be the theme park and associated areas, taking about two years.

Gulliver's already operates three family theme parks at Matlock Bath, Warrington and Milton Keynes.

Five government commissioners were selected to run Rotherham Council until March 2019 after a report found the local authority "not fit for purpose" over its handling of child sexual exploitation in the town.

In agreeing to the sale of the 333-acre site, one of the commissioners, Julie Kenny, said she was "absolutely delighted" to see a well-established family company planning to locate to the area.

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