9 March 2009 


 Plans for the world’s first heritage amusement park are to be unveiled in Margate on Sunday 15th March at a free public event.

 The Dreamland Trust – which administers the Save Dreamland Campaign – announced its plans for a spectacular new 21st Century tourist attraction at the site of the former Dreamland Amusement Park in 2007. Since then, the Trust has worked with Thanet District Council and Dreamland owners the Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company on exciting plans for what is being called “a thrilling theme park from the past”. The plans will be seen for the first time in public on Sunday.

 Chairman of the Dreamland Trust Nick Laister said: “We were successful in winning a DCMS ‘Sea Change’ grant last year and, with additional funding from Dreamland’s owners, MTCRC, and the Margate Renewal Partnership, we have been able to appoint specialist advisers who are starting to bring our dreams to reality. We are now able to go public with our exciting plans for Dreamland, and we are looking forward to sharing them with the public on Sunday. If we can secure our next round of grant funding, work on the park could start later this year, with the park opening in 2012.”

The heritage amusement park, which will cost £12m to construct, will be built around the Grade II listed Scenic Railway, the oldest roller coaster in the UK. It will feature some of the last surviving examples of well-known amusement park rides, many of which are the last surviving examples of their type and have been rescued by the Save Dreamland Campaign from parks that have recently closed down.

Nick Laister says: “Dreamland will recreate a large, thrilling permanent seaside amusement park, of the sort that could be found around the coast of Britain throughout most of the last century, but has now largely disappeared. It will be an authentic traditional seaside amusement park experienced in its correct location. We think it will be a great success and will play a transformational role in the regeneration of Margate.”

In addition to unveiling the plans, Sunday’s event will include a presentation of old film footage of Dreamland and the Scenic Railway through the years, along with a seriously good Dreamland soundtrack and an opportunity to meet the Dreamland team. Confirmed attendees include Dreamland Trust representatives Nick Laister, Sarah Vickery and Susan Marsh, Paris-based theme park designer Jean-Marc Toussaint and representatives of the Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company, Margate Renewal Partnership and the Prince’s Regeneration Trust. There is also a bar, funfair food and DJs.

Nick concludes: “The Dreamland of tomorrow will echo the thrilling theme parks of the past, and this is your chance to climb on board, fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride!”

The time and place: 7.30pm, Sunday 15th March at the West Coast Bar, King Street, Margate.


Information for Editors

The Prince’s Regeneration Trust and Locum Consulting have carried out the feasibility work for the Heritage Amusement Park. Levitt Bernstein Architects, with Jean-Marc Toussaint, have produced the plans and drawings of the park. The ‘Dreamland Client Group’ comprises The Dreamland Trust, Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company and Margate Renewal Partnership.

For further information on the proposed Heritage Amusement Park and Sunday’s event please contact:

Nick Laister – Chairman of the Dreamland Trust on 01235 838214 or 07778 207036. Email

Sarah VickeryHon Treasurer of the Dreamland Trust on 01843 220008 (day) or 07990 998688 (mobile). Email

Susan Marsh MBE – Hon Secretary of the Dreamland Trust on 07803 727048. Email 

The Save Dreamland Campaign was launched in 2003 to save the Dreamland Pleasure Park, Margate, home of the UK’s oldest roller coaster, the 89-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 Britain’s Heritage.

The official campaign website is The campaign can be emailed at The address for all correspondence is Save Dreamland Campaign/The Dreamland Trust, The Shell Grotto, Grotto Hill, Margate, Kent CT9 2BU.

The Trust has negotiated the ‘rescue’ of a number of threatened vintage rides, most of which are now in storage in various locations. The rides include the Caterpillar, Water Chute, Whip, Wild Mouse and River Caves, and they have been acquired from Southport Pleasureland, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Rhyl’s Ocean Beach. In some cases, these represent the last surviving examples of their type.

 Dreamland Pleasure Park is located at Belgrave Road, Margate. The park is owned by Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company.