Gulliver’s giant ambition for South Yorkshire siteTue 08 Sep, 2015


UK theme park company to invest over £37m in new resort

An ambitious family theme park and holiday resort will be created on a large site near to Rother Valley Country Park by British company Gulliver’s.

The second generation family business, which began as a model village in nearby Matlock Bath almost 40 years ago, has confirmed its plans to create its fourth UK attraction on the 135-hectare Pithouse West site.

Up to 255 full-time equivalent jobs will be created at the new resort in addition to the significant employment benefits during construction.

When complete the new resort will include a theme park hub, woodland adventure centre, ecology and education centre, ‘glamping’ and woodland lodges, a hotel and holiday village.

Gulliver’s already operates three successful family theme parks at Matlock Bath, Warrington and Milton Keynes, catering specifically to families with children ages two to 13. Its new South Yorkshire park – “Gulliver’s Valley” – will eventually combine all the entertainment elements found across its existing parks.

Gulliver’s has an established track record of commitment to sustainability and the environment. The development of the Pithouse West site is planned to be sympathetic, retaining and enhancing large areas of existing woodland as attractive elements of the resort.

Julie Dalton, managing director of Gulliver’s, said: “We’re really excited at the prospect of realising our dreams at Gulliver’s Valley and reproducing all the best elements of our existing three UK parks together on one site.

“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. Plus of course, the family theme park hub, which will be developed and operated in line with our core value of providing great value family days out that are big on fun.”

The first phase of developing Gulliver’s Valley will be the theme park hub and associated areas, taking around two years. This will comprise the usual mix of rides, attractions, shows and experiences for children up to 13, plus ancillary attractions such as the Splash Zone and Nerf Zone attractions already popular at other Gulliver’s parks.

About Gulliver’s Theme Parks:

Gulliver’s is one of the few companies with experience of taking a raw, unserviced site such as Pithouse West and creating a theme park resort which adds significant value to the local economy. The family company traces its roots to 1976 when Mr Ray Phillips created a model village for his own children in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire. It soon expanded as a tourist attraction for other families to enjoy, opening to the public as Gulliver’s Kingdom in 1978.

The business continued to grow, opening Gulliver’s World on the former Burtonwood Airbase site in Warrington in 1989 and Gulliver’s Land in Milton Keynes in 1999, continually improving and adding new attractions to all three sites.

Today the company is run by Ray and Hillary Phillips’ children Julie Dalton and Nick Phillips, with the wider “Gulliver’s family” embracing almost 600 employees, many of whom have worked for the company for more than 20 years. It recently launched its in-house ‘training academy’, recruiting and training the next generation of Gulliver’s managers.

For more information about Gulliver’s existing theme parks visit: www.gulliversfun.co.uk