The world’s first Chinese cultural theme park is set to be created in South Yorkshire - at a cost of more than £100 million.
A consortium involving Chinese investors, a former Alton Towers boss and a leading UK-based development company have been granted a lease by Rotherham Council for the 120-acre former Pit House West site, next to Rother Valley Country Park.
The project will create 200 jobs during its construction period and then 380 permanent jobs.
Developers predict up to one and a half million visitors each year could be attracted to the park - which will be called Visions of China - and have promised entry will be ‘affordable’ for struggling families.
And they have promised the scheme will not be another flop like other South Yorkshire visitor attractions such as the failed National Centre for Popular Music in Sheffield and Earth Centre in Doncaster.
Attractions are set to include rollercoaster rides, Oriental lakes and gardens, a China Town retail street, temple and cultural centre, theatre, children’s fantasy land, restaurants, oriental spa and giant pagoda.
Rotherham Council said the project could take ‘months rather than years’ to be approved because the site already has outline planning permission for leisure development - and it could be open in just 18 months’ time.
Peter Moore, former marketing director of Alton Towers and chief executive of the Visions of China consortium, said: “I believe it will be, no doubt, one of the most exciting projects British tourism will have seen for decades.”