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Heritage park plan for Margate's Dreamland site

The good old days at Margate's famous fun spot
The good old days at Margate's famous fun spot

THE Save Dreamland Campaign say its vision for a heritage amusement park based around the historic Scenic Railway is a world’s first.

The group has met with Thanet council and the Margate Renewal Partnership to develop the concept that would include some of the remaining examples of Britain’s amusement park heritage.

The listed cinema building would also be brought back into use with rides, shows, bars, restaurants and an amusement park/seaside heritage museum.

The campaign has carried out some initial feasibility work on the viability of the project and has commissioned theme park designer Jean-Marc Toussaint to produce a new concept plan for the site showing how the park could look, based on an initial site area provided by MRP.

The plan shows a potential selection of vintage amusement park rides of the type that could operate at the park.

Campaign leader Nick Laister said: "Our position right at the start of this campaign was that some of the park could be redeveloped if it ensured the long-term survival of the park.

"We see funding from the developer, along with other grant funding, as critical in delivering this attraction.

"The park could then be owned and potentially operated by a trust, after which it would be self-sufficient. We have produced a business plan and have also carried out a feasibility study on the availability of rides and attractions. We are already in talks with several amusement parks around the UK that are closing or have closed about taking a small selection of the rides that best represent Britain’s amusement park heritage.

"Margate’s unique selling point is the iconic Scenic Railway - so where better in the UK to put such a heritage amusement park, next to the UK’s most famous piece of amusement park heritage?

"We are confident that this is a realistic proposal, which should attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to Margate every year."

* Dreamland’s owners, Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company, has launched its public consultation exercise on the future of the amusement park site.

An exhibition showing two possible schemes for the redevelopment of Dreamland can be seen until Bank Holiday Monday (May 7). It is housed in a temporary structure within the Dreamland events site (the same location as last year’s Burning Man event), above the car park. Opening hours are from 11am until 7pm.

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