The Dreamland Trust appoints Project Director


The Dreamland Trust today announces the appointment of Jonathan Bryant as its Project Director. Jonathan will be responsible for implementing the world’s first amusement park of thrilling historic rides at Dreamland Margate following the award of grant funding from Heritage Lottery and the Government’s Sea Change programme.


With a wealth of experience in the heritage and leisure sectors and in business leadership, Jonathan, who’s originally from East London, established the UK’s first brewing museum and opened a working coal mine to the public in Staffordshire. In Scotland he led the City of Dundee’s renaissance Discovery project as chief executive and on the River Thames set up Henley’s River & Rowing Museum, which won the coveted Museum of the Year Award and was short listed for the Stirling Prize for the work of its architect David Chipperfield – also project architect for Margate’s Turner Contemporary. More recently Jonathan project directed Birmingham’s Thinktank Science Centre and for the last five years has been member of British Waterways’ senior management team. He is also an active volunteer in the cultural & heritage sector and has served as chairman of the Association of Independent Museums, trustee and chairman of Dundee’s contemporary art gallery, trustee of Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust and, currently, chairman of Watermen’s Hall Preservation Trust in London.  He has one daughter aged six and is a keen cinema goer, walker and motorcyclist.


Chairman of The Dreamland Trust, Nick Laister, said: “I would like to welcome Jonathan to The Dreamland Trust. He has a reputation for action and for successfully bringing forward first-class heritage attractions delivered with commercial and creative flair. With Jonathan’s excellent track record, I am sure that we will be able to deliver a Dreamland that Margate can be proud of.”


The Dreamland Margate project is being led by The Dreamland Trust, a not-for-profit company. The Trust is developing an exciting theme park from the past on the Dreamland site, giving visitors to Margate an opportunity to enjoy spectacular historic amusement park rides. The rides will be built around the centre piece of the park, the Scenic Railway, the oldest surviving roller coaster in the UK and the fourth oldest in the world. Restoration work will also be carried out on the Grade II*-listed Dreamland cinema building, creating a major new visitor attraction of international significance.


Jonathan Bryant says: “I am inspired by all that The Dreamland Trust and its partners have achieved to date and am looking forward to bringing Dreamland back to life as a firm family favourite for the 21st century.”


Jonathan joins The Dreamland Trust in January 2010. Jonathan is currently interim chief executive at Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust which is working with Haringey Council to refurbish and develop the 1930’s listed civic buildings and assembly hall.  From January his commitments to Dreamland and Hornsey Town Hall will run concurrently.


The Trust has also appointed Jan Leandro as Audience Development Officer and Graham Ward as Project Archivist, both of whom start in January 2010.


Jonathan Bryant and Nick Laister will both be available for interviews at the Margate Media Centre, 11 - 13 King Street, Margate on 10 December 2009 between 12.30pm and 1.30pm.


More details at: <> <>

Information for Editors

For interviews, please contact:
Nick Laister – Chair of the Dreamland Trust on 07778 207036 or 01235 838214. 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 and a leading authority on the British theme 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 Britain’s Heritage, the European Coaster Club and the Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain.
The official campaign website is <> . The campaign can be emailed at The address for all correspondence is The Dreamland Trust, c/o The Shell Grotto, Grotto Hill, Margate, Kent CT9 2BU.

The Dreamland Trust has been set up to actively pursue the implementation of a 21st-Century tourist attraction at Dreamland, based around the listed Scenic Railway and Cinema building. Our proposals for the world's first amusement park of historic rides that will authentically recreate a thrilling seaside amusement park from the past, are now progressing with the support of major stakeholders in the town. These include Thanet District Council, Margate Renewal Partnership, Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company, Kent County Council, English Heritage, the Arts Council and others. 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 is located at Belgrave Road, Margate. The park is owned by Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company, which is a partner in the Dreamland Margate project.

Earlier this year the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded The Dreamland Trust development funding of £493,000 to work up plans to progress the ground-breaking plans. Thanet District Council has provided 10% match funding for this grant. In November 2009 Dreamland Margate was awarded £3.7m grant funding by the Government as part of the DCMS’s Sea Change programme.