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Plans unveiled for major new Chinese themed visitor attraction in Rotherham

posted 9 Aug 2011, 01:27 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 24 Aug 2011, 05:39 ]
Proposals to create a major new Chinese themed visitor attraction in the Rotherham area have been unveiled.

The announcement comes with the news that Rotherham Council has selected a partnership looking to create a the new multi-million pound visitor attraction - 'Visions of China' - as the Preferred Developer for the site in Rotherham.

The Council's Cabinet has agreed to select the bid put forward by leisure organisation China Vision Ltd and regeneration specialist MCD Developments, as the preferred development for the former Pithouse West colliery site, located to the north of Rother Valley Country Park. The move means the Council will now start negotiations with the Preferred Developer regarding the sale and use of the site.

Visions of China will be a 120 acre cultural theme park set in an authentically built and landscaped Chinese environment. It aims to combine the beauty and distinctiveness of Chinese architecture; the charming originality of Chinese garden design; the mystique of Chinese culture and customs; and the originality of its entertainment, in a single spectacular parkland environment, offering a menu of entertainment which will appeal to both domestic and overseas visitors alike.

One and a half million visitors are expected to visit the park each year enjoying its spectacular mix of Oriental lakes and gardens; China Town retail street; Shaolin temple and cultural centre; Theatre; Children's fantasy land; Restaurants; Oriental Spa; Pavilions; Pagoda; and Hotel.

Councillor Roger Stone, Leader of Rotherham Borough Council, said: "This is a prestigious project which will create hundreds of new jobs and bring in many thousands of visitors and we are delighted that it is being brought to Rotherham.

"Our decision today is the first stage on the road to turn this 'China Vision' into a reality and we will be working hard with the partnership to make it happen.

"This site has great potential and this proposal offers an exciting, unique and imaginative new attraction which meets our local regeneration aspirations and the desire of the region to increase the numbers of visitors from across the world heading to Yorkshire."

The project has been endorsed by VisitEngland, the national tourist board for England, responsible for marketing England to domestic and established overseas markets and for improving England's tourism product. The organisation’s chairman, Lady Cobham said " 'Visions of China' closely meets the objectives of the national strategy in creating 'compelling destinations of distinction' which will 'help England increase its share of global visitor markets' I am delighted that such a prestigious project is progressing well".

Dr Lee Kaihung, Chairman of Visions of China, said; “Peter Moore and I have been looking for a exceptional site for many years to accommodate this very special project and I am delighted that, with MCD on board as our partner, we now have the opportunity to make my dream come true in the Rother Valley Country Park. We have formed an ideal partnership to turn the dream into reality, with the help of the far sighted leadership of Rotherham Council.”

Peter Moore, CEO of Visions of China, added; “I have been fortunate to have been involved in some of the most successful leisure organisations in Britain and I believe 'Visions of China' will be, without doubt, one of the most exciting projects British tourism will have seen for decades”.

Steven Byrne, CEO of MCD Developments commented; ' The Rother Valley Country Park is a perfect setting for this unique attraction and we are looking forward developing the 'Visions of China' concept on a National and International basis and to maximizing the full potential of this site'.  

The project, costing in excess of £100 million is envisaged to create 200 jobs during its two year construction and more than 380 permanent jobs once the theme park is in operation.

Rotherham Investment & Development Office (RiDO) is the regeneration arm of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. RiDO provides a free, professional service that can help businesses with everything from finding the right sites and premises, to planning advice and guidance; finding and training recruits to locating new customers and suppliers.