REBRANDING MARGATE: BBCS
THE APPRENTICE COMES TO TOWN
But the results are already hopelessly out of date!
Its week eight of the hugely popular television series, The Apprentice, and this Wednesdays episode will see the candidates taking on a task that the BBC claims is their most challenging yet: to rebrand Margate for the 21st-century tourist.
However, organisers of the Save Dreamland Campaign claim that the contestants missed out on promoting the multi-million pound project to revive Dreamland, the towns biggest tourism initiative in years, which will create a worlds first visitor attraction in the resort.
The remaining eight contestants were given two days to produce posters and leaflets for the town. The two teams then pitched their campaigns to a group of local residents and tourism industry experts. The trailer for this weeks episode shows one such resident and expert the Campaigns very own Sarah Vickery looking distinctly unimpressed!
Im not allowed to comment on the show until after its aired, says Sarah. My lips are sealed.
The show airs just two weeks after Thanet District Council submitted a £4million bid to the Governments Sea Change grant scheme for funding to help create the worlds first amusement park of historic rides on Dreamland. And this was hot on the heels of an application for over £2.6million to the Heritage Lottery Fund in March, submitted by The Dreamland Trust with assistance from The Princes Regeneration Trust.
Campaign Leader Nick Laister says: "We understand filming of The Apprentice took place last October. Back then we had only just been awarded a relatively small Government grant to undertake feasibility work on the Dreamland project, so we doubt our plans will feature heavily in the contestants presentations.
We now have detailed plans for this striking new attraction which will transform Margate. Its a reminder of how much progress has been made in such an incredibly short period of time.
The ground-breaking project brings together the Margate Renewal Partnership, The Dreamland Trust (Save Dreamland Campaign), Dreamland owners the Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company and Thanet District Council. Feasibility work was also supported by Kent County Council, SEEDA, English Heritage and the Arts Council England.
The bids are for Phase One of the project, which aims to create a thrilling theme park from the past on the Dreamland site, focusing on preserving, interpreting and operating spectacular historic amusement park rides. Many of these rides, which have been rescued from amusement parks across the UK over the past few years, are the last surviving examples of their type. The centrepiece of the park will be the Grade II listed Scenic Railway, fully restored and operational.
If the bids are successful, Phase One would also include the initial stages of the restoration of the Grade II* listed Dreamland cinema building.
I dont believe Margate needs rebranding, says Laister. Its a traditional seaside town with a fantastic beach, beautiful architecture, loyal fans and passionate residents but it has been allowed to decline over a number of years. Our plans for Dreamland will halt that decline, transform the town and create a genuinely compelling new visitor attraction.
This project has backing from residents, businesses and key stakeholders in the area and that shared vision puts us in a very strong position.
The results of the Sea Change bid will be announced in July.
Information for Editors
The Dreamland Trust administers the Save Dreamland Campaign. For further information on The Dreamland Trust please contact:
Nick Laister Chairman on 07778 207036. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Vickery Treasurer on 01843 220008 (day) or 07990 998688 (mobile). Email email@example.com
The Save Dreamland Campaign was launched in 2003 to save the Dreamland Pleasure Park, Margate, home of the UKs oldest roller coaster, the 89-year-old listed Scenic Railway.
The Campaign is led by planning expert Nick Laister, a planning consultant and a leading authority on the British amusement park industry. The Campaign is now supported by over 18,000 people, including local residents, businesses and organisations such as the Margate Civic Society, Margate Hotel and Guest House Association and Limbo Arts Ltd, as well as national and international groups including SAVE Britains Heritage, the European Coaster Club and the Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain.
The official campaign website is www.savedreamland.co.uk. The campaign can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. The address for all correspondence is The Dreamland Trust, The Shell Grotto, Grotto Hill, Margate, Kent CT9 2BU.