History

Shipley Country Park was opened in 1976, covering the area around the old Shipley Hall, demolished more than 30 years previously, together with the newly restored opencast sites around the Woodside and Coppice Collieries. Today it is a flourishing country park, with cycle hire, walks and a Visitors Centre.

From the outset in the development of Shipley Country Park, an area was to set aside comprising some 390 acres around a 32 acre lake, for leisure activities. In 1979, discussions began between Derbyshire County Council, the owners of the site, and a company called KLF, led by Peter Kellard, who proposed what would now be called a Theme Park. Despite many objections, and a change in County Council leadership, which entailed a prolonged court battle between KLF and the Council, the proposals eventually developed into Britannia Park, with the site being taken on a 100 year lease.

The park was opened on 27 June 1985, by Henry Cooper (despite earlier suggestions that there would be a royal opening!) For just £299 you could have a return flight on Concorde from Heathrow to the official opening! Weather-wise it was a wash out, and as the season progressed it got no better! But, perhaps the biggest problem was that very little was actually ready, with parts of the park still resembling a building site.

On 9 September, just ten weeks after it opened, the park was bankrupt, and receivers were called in.  "The Showcase of Britain" was kept open for the rest of the season, but then closed its doors, and was up for sale.

The park was bought by the County Council for £2.5 million in 1986, and sold to Grenada, who reopened the park, under the name "The American Adventure" in June 1987. Grenada in turn sold it to Ventureworld in early 1997. The American Adventure itself announced its closure after the 2006 season.

The American Adventure announced on Thursday 4 January 2007 that the park would not be re-opening for the 2007 season. Derbyshire County Council was reviewing options for the site's future. Part of the park has been leased, while the rest is being controlled by Derbyshire County Council. The park has been given the name "Shipley Lakeside" and is now up for sale. The park is now being demolished to make way for development and following a staged bid process Waystone has been chosen as the preferred Developer.