Gulliver’s goes large with latest leisure plans

Gulliver’s World has revealed plans for a Centre Parcs-style holiday village next to its theme park near Warrington.

Advised by County Planning, the theme park operator is drawing up plans for the woodland-themed development, which will include 79 holiday lodges, group accommodation, caravan and camping pitches, a spa and treatment centre, a pet resort, and a welcome suite. The development is pitched at families to take advantage of the growing market for UK-based short breaks.

The development will also include adventures activities and a sports pitch, which will be open to community use. An outdoor activities area will incorporate children’s playgrounds, clip-and-climb, den building, and woodland crafts.

The plans, covering a plot bordering Sankey Valley Park, will also include a staff headquarters which can double as a training and development building. County Planning said the development is estimated to create 40 jobs.

Following a public consultation last week, the theme park operator is aiming to submit a planning application to Warrington Council by the end of the year.

Earlier this year, Gulliver’s World secured planning consent for two hotels worth a combined £3.8m, with one themed as a pirate ship and the other as a fairytale castle.

Set within a landscaped 2.4-acre site, the hotels will provide suites, family rooms and a village resort with a café, craft centre, children’s indoor play centre and crèche, guest reception and housekeeping facilities.

Dan Matthewman, managing director of County Planning, said: “Gulliver’s, along with other tourism providers, are seeing an increase in demand for holidays and short breaks in the UK which are focused around children’s outdoor entertainment. Even in this growing market there is a lack of purpose-built holiday accommodation in North Cheshire for young families.

“The proposed woodland resort at Gulliver’s World will be linked to the existing theme park and offer overnight accommodation for families and turn what might have been a day trip, into a viable short-break or holiday in the UK. The proposed skills academy will help the company increase its hospitality and visitor economy skills training for employees, maximising potential employment opportunities for local people.”

Julie Dalton, managing director of Gulliver’s said: “Our proposal is inspired by the best of what places like the National Trust offers in terms of making the outdoor easily accessible to families whilst offering comfortable and affordable accommodation that can be enjoyed by families within reach of places like Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside . We want to combine these elements with what Gulliver’s does best – providing a unique children’s entertainment and theme park attraction.”

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