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Dreamland boss Eddie Kemsley leaves chief executive job at Margate theme park

By KentOnline reporter

The chief executive of vintage theme park Dreamland is leaving her post, KentOnline can exclusively reveal.

Eddie Kemsley has been at the helm of the tourist attraction since January 2014, seeing it through its reopening and turbulent first year.

Dreamland is currently in administration after being hit by a series of setbacks, including the late opening of the centrepiece Scenic Railway. It owes £2.9m but will continue trading following a creditors' meeting earlier this month.

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Thanet Extra is the best place to read about the big issues in the area
Thanet Extra is the best place to read about the big issues in the area

Ms Kemsley is leaving to head up a children's visitor attraction in London.

Before joining Dreamland, Ms Kemsley had held senior positions at two other major Kent attractions.

She was chief executive of The Hop Farm from 2012 to 2013 and head of communications at Port Lympne and Howletts animal parks between 2005 and 2012.

VIDEO: The park's chief executive is leaving her post.

Dreamland went into administration last December after going into serious debt.

It was agreed at a meeting called by administrators Duff and Phelps earlier this month that it would continue to trade.

Visitor numbers have increased since the theme park moved to a free entry, pay-per-ride model in June.

Dreamland chief executive Eddie Kemsley
Dreamland chief executive Eddie Kemsley

KentOnline also understands that the Scenic Railway, which has been out of action for repair work since the start of the school summer holidays, is due to reopen this week.

Ms Kemsley said: "Opening a reimagined Dreamland has been an honour. Building a team of predominantly local people to make the dream a reality has been the highlight of my career.

There could be further claims over the Scenic Railway
There could be further claims over the Scenic Railway

"At times, it’s been a hard, emotional journey with many bumps in the road but every challenge we have faced has been worth it to see the ever increasing number of visitors to the amusement park and to Margate.”

Benjamin Wiles, managing director of Duff & Phelps said: "We wish Eddie the greatest of success in taking on her new role and would like to thank her for her hard work and dedication in helping create and deliver the vision of a reimagined Dreamland.

"Having worked alongside Eddie for the last few months I can tell why during her tenure as CEO, Dreamland has significantly contributed to the regeneration of Margate."

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