WORK will begin on Gulliver’s Valley after the theme park plans were given the final go-ahead by the secretary of state.
The approval from communities secretary Sajid Javid MP follows last month’s unanimous vote from Rotherham’s planning board.
It is hoped the £37 million family theme park, at the former Pithouse West colliery site, Wales, will open in 2020.
It will be built in phases, creating 255 permanent posts and bringing an estimated £11.6 million a year to Rotherham’s economy.
Gulliver’s managing director Julie Dalton said: “After a good two years of hard work, it’s absolutely wonderful to know that our vision for Gulliver’s fourth UK theme park is going to become a reality. We’re all absolutely delighted.
“Throughout the planning process, I and my senior staff have taken part in several consultation events around the local area, giving local residents the chance to comment on our plans.
“We worked closely with Rotherham Borough Council and Highways England to ensure our planning application did not negatively impact on local access routes and amended plans to reduce the visual impact of our larger attractions.
“This is an exciting time in Gulliver’s history.”
The resort will open with a main theme park hub, with rides and attractions aimed at children aged up to 13 and their families.
Gulliver’s Valley will also include accommodation, an indoor water play zone, a climbing centre and an education and ecology centre with forest classrooms.
The development will also encompass Gully’s Dream Village, a community where children with life-threatening illnesses can enjoy cost-free respite.
Cllr Denise Lelliott, Rotherham Borough Council’s Cabinet member for jobs and the economy, said: “We now look forward to seeing the plans being brought to fruition.
“As well as being a fantastic facility for families, the resort will result in a massive boost to the area and our local economy.
“It will bring in visitors, provide jobs for local people, and complement the existing activities at nearby Rother Valley Country Park.”
She added: “This is a family-run business with a proven track record for building and operating family entertainment developments and we are very proud and excited that Gulliver's has chosen the borough to develop their resort.”