SAVE DREAMLAND CAMPAIGN
30 April 2007
SAVE DREAMLAND CAMPAIGN LAUNCHES VISION FOR WORLD'S FIRST HERITAGE AMUSEMENT PARK
In the week that Dreamlandís owners, Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company (MTCRC), launched its public consultation exercise on the future of the amusement park site, the Save Dreamland Campaign launches its new vision for Dreamland.
The Campaign launched its previous Vision for Dreamland - 'I Dream of Dreamland' - in March 2005, which showed a Concept Plan of how Dreamland could look if acquired by one of the theme park operators interested in taking on the site. This plan was backed by Southend's Adventure Island Theme Park, one of the operators vying to take over the park.
Campaign Leader, Nick Laister, says:
"Our March 2005 Concept Plan remains our favoured option for the site. However, without the strong support we wanted for the protection of Dreamland in the Local Plan, we have had to think of a 'Plan B', which allows for some of Dreamland to be redeveloped whilst ensuring the continuation of a major visitor attraction on the site. The Heritage Amusement Park is our Plan B - but what an exciting Plan B it is."
Nick continues: "The Save Dreamland Campaign has held several meetings over the past few months with Thanet District Council and the Margate Renewal Partnership (MRP) to develop the concept of a Heritage Amusement Park at Dreamland, based around the listed Scenic Railway. The Heritage Amusement Park, which would be a world's first, would include some of the remaining examples of Britain's amusement park heritage, in a high quality park-like environment around the Scenic Railway. 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.
Nick continues: "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."
The Concept Plan demonstrates that the Heritage Park can be accommodated within approximately 7 acres, the exact location to be determined at a later date.
The Campaign will be submitting this Concept Plan to MTCRC as its formal response to the current consultation exercise. The Campaign is also consulting with its own members on the Heritage Park concept.
Nick concludes: "We look forward to working with the owners of Dreamland and Thanet District Council to bring this attraction, which should put Margate on the world stage, to Dreamland."
Information for Editors
The Concept Plan can be emailed on request.
The Save Dreamland Campaign was launched in 2003 to save the Dreamland Pleasure Park, Margate, home of the UKís oldest roller coaster, the 86-year-old listed Scenic Railway.
The Campaign is led by planning expert Nick Laister, a planning consultant working within the British amusement park industry. The Campaign is now speaking on behalf of over 13,000 people, including local residents, businesses and organisations such as the Margate Historical Society, Margate Civic Society, the Isle of Thanet Hotel and Guest House Association, European Coaster Club, Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain and SAVE Britainís Heritage.
The official campaign website is www.savedreamland.co.uk. The campaign can be emailed at email@example.com. The address for all correspondence is Save Dreamland Campaign, The Shell Grotto, Grotto Hill, Margate, Kent CT9 2BU.
The Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company (the owner of Dreamland) is holding an exhibition showing two possible schemes for the redevelopment of Dreamland from Saturday 28 April until Bank Holiday Monday 7 May. The exhibition features two "planning models" of the site and accompanying architectural plans from DLA Architecture. The exhibition 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.
Based in Paris, Jean-Marc Toussaint has worked as creative consultant and theming/ride designer for several leading theme park organisations such as Grťvin & Cie, International Amusement Alliance, Soquet Rides, Pax Design and The Coaster Works. He has also recently acted as the main creative consultant for the development of the masterplan of Admiral Vrungelís Adventure Park in Gelendjik, Russia.
The Concept Plan shows a selection of rides of the type that could operate at the park. The appearance of any specific ride on the Concept Plan does not mean that agreement has been reached for the ride to operate at Dreamland; these are examples only.
Dreamland Pleasure Park is located at Belgrave Road, Margate. The telephone number is 01843 299244. The park is owned by Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company Ltd, the majority shareholder of which is Reading-based Waterbridge Group.