A lot of people in South Yorkshire are watching over 300 acres of land, a few miles south of Rotherham, near to Rother Valley Country Park.
Few would be surprised that this vast piece of land was once a coal mine, Beighton Brookhouse, opened in 1902. Coal mining continued on the site, changing name to Brookhouse Colliery, right up until 1985.
In 1988 the site became Pithouse West Opencast Colliery and closed in 1994, and in 1995 landscaping of the site went ahead to provide a huge piece of land which has many paths and walkways running through it, and today many dog walkers make their way there due to all the space that is up for letting dogs run free.
Over the years the area around the old Pithouse West Colliery was developed and regenerated and today is home to Rother Valley Country Park, industrial estates and housing.
In 2003, the YES! Project was touted as the best thing to hit the area, and they would take over the running of Rother Valley Country Park, as well as the people behind the plans, Oak Holdings, investing £350 million to install a indoor skiing, ice climbing walls, diving centre, ice hockey rink and indoor sky diving.
Planning was secured in 2007, however, the money never appeared and by 2011 the plugged had well and truly been pulled.
In 2012, China Vision Ltd came along and promised a £118 million project to open Visions of China, a Chinese style theme park, but without the rides. Locally it was a huge laughing point with many wondering what on earth was going on, and even more saying it was a joke and would never happen.
Indeed, here we are in 2015 and the land is still sat empty, overgrown and strewn with dog dirt – quite literally, its everywhere!
Most of the land has become a natural wildlife space, and there are many forums talking of disgust at losing this space, however, in September 2015, Gulliver’s Theme Parks purchased the land and announced that over a 12 year period, a resort would be built, Gulliver’s Valley.
£37 million is due to be spent on building a Gulliver’s Theme Park, and future developments include Glamping lodges, a hotel and holiday village.
We love Gulliver’s Theme Parks, having appeared in their TV advert a few years ago and having our Son grow up visiting the existing 3, we have made some fantastic memories and area really looking forwards to following this development and cannot wait to be there on opening date – if planning is approved – could be as soon as 2017.
We will be following developments and if/when planning is granted, we will be there watching the park grow and give you regular updates.
Join us at the very start of this brand new Theme Park in Rotherham, Gulliver’s Valley Rotherham, we cannot wait to welcome you!