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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 Dreamland Trust is working with these organisations to bring forward detailed proposals and bidding for grant funding.

The Dreamland Trust currently has nine trustees.

Trustee Biographies

Nick Laister (Chairman)

Nick founded the Save Dreamland Campaign and was instrumental in securing listed building status for the Scenic Railway. Nick is a Chartered Town Planner and Director at the UK's largest planning consultancy. He works extensively within the visitor attractions industry, advising several UK and international theme park operators on planning and development matters. He has written articles for a number of newspapers and journals and regularly speaks at conferences on the subject of planning for tourism and leisure. Nick is also editor of the web site He provides professional expertise to the Trust.

Sarah Vickery (Honorary Treasurer)

Sarah is Campaign Coordinator. Owner and operator of the Grade I listed Shell Grotto, one of Margate's most popular tourist attractions, Sarah is monitoring progress at a local level and liaising with local organisations. Sarah, a former journalist on national newspapers and magazines, has a wealth of knowledge about the tourism industry on the Isle of Thanet. Sarah is on the Board of Margate arts group Limbo, is a member of Margate Town Partnership’s Marketing Group, writes for the local magazine Isle and has been Vice-Chair of the Isle of Thanet Tourism Association and Chair of the Thanet Contemporary Arts Festival.

Susan Marsh MBE (Honorary Secretary)

Susan became actively involved in the campaign in 2003 and undertook the advocacy for the Local Plan Public Inquiry. Susan brings knowledge of community involvement in planning matters, equality and diversity, community associations and education. She is chair of the governing body of a Church of England primary school, a governor of a boy’s high school and chair of the local governors association. She is a member of the executive committee of a national organisation for governors. She sits on many sub-committees and working groups, representing governors, both nationally and locally.

Andrew Cannon

Andrew Cannon is a director and joint owner of Spurling Cannon Chartered Certified Accountants at Westwood where he works closely with local businesses. He grew up in Thanet and now lives in Birchington with his wife and two sons. Andrew is active in the local community both within the business and voluntary sectors; being a member of Margate Round Table he plays an active role in fundraising for local causes.

Neil Sparkes

Neil Sparkes is a musician, producer, visual artist and poet with a notable and multi-culturally rich track record. As a musician, composer and producer he has worked with Peter Gabriel, Natacha Atlas, The Stranglers, Jah Wobble, Los De Abajo, Batucada Sound Machine, and Linton Kwesi Johnson amongst many others. His literary work includes several collections of poetry and his work appears in numerous anthologies. He exhibits his paintings and visual art in the UK and Europe. Neil grew up in East Kent and now lives in Ramsgate.

Richard Gray

Richard Gray formerly worked for English Heritage as an Inspector of Historic Buildings and now writes and lectures on historic architecture, with a particular interest in the architectural history of theatres and cinemas. He has been Chair of the Cinema Theatre Association and is currently its Chair of Casework. Richard is author of Cinemas in Britain, a survey of the building type from the inception of film at the end of the 19th century up to the modern-day multiplex cinema.


Mandy Wilkins

Co founder of the iconic 60s shoe company The Chelsea Cobbler, fashion and design consultant to major companies including C&J Clark and Kickers (UK) and visiting lecturer at the Royal Collage of Art and Kingston School of Fashion. Conceived and ran niche heritage housewares company The Edwardian Company, supplier to Harrods, The Conran Shop, Habitat and other leading stores in Britain and abroad. Expanded concept into retail with The Country House Shop. Took interest in heritage several stages further by obtaining a BA in History from the University of Kent and currently acts as historical researcher to Thanet District Council.

Andrew Baker

Andrew is a partner in Boys and Maughan solicitors, Thanet’s oldest and largest firm of solicitors which has its head office at the historic India House in Hawley Street, Margate. He has lived in Kent all his life and visited Thanet from a young age. He lives in Wingham with his wife and three young children and likes to spend his time sailing when not working or involved with family duties. As well as dealing with many local companies and organisations through his work he is a director of the Thanet and East Kent Chamber of Commerce and is a member and past chairman of Margate Round Table.

Roger Joyce

Roger Joyce holds a Diploma in Architecture from the Canterbury School of Architecture and a Diploma in Building Conservation awarded by the Architectural Association (Bedford Square, London) in 1990. He is Principal of Folkestone-based Roger Joyce Associates, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Kent Building Preservation Trust, The Sandgate Society, ICOMOS, SPAB, IHBC, and EASA.

The Trust also has three members of staff:

Jonathan Bryant - Project Director

Jonathan is responsible for implementing the worlds first amusement park of thrilling historic rides at Dreamland Margate. With a wealth of experience in the heritage and leisure sectors and in business leadership, Jonathan 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 Dundees renaissance Discovery project as chief executive and on the River Thames set up Henleys River & Rowing Museum. More recently Jonathan project directed Birminghams Thinktank Science Centre and for the last five years has been member of British Waterways' senior management team.

Jan Leandro - Audience Development Officer

Jan is curator, organiser and central point of reference of a programme of exhibitions and outreach events promoting Dreamland Margate. Maximising the cultural potential of the Grade II*-listed Dreamland Cinema building, the history of seaside entertainment and the as yet under-explored, incredibly rich and vibrant, tradition of British post-War youth and street culture, Jan is the central point of contact between the Project and the public, and promotes the site's role in popular culture to the widest possible intergenerational audience.


PHOTO COMING SOON Bob Preedy - Specialist Rides Coordinator

Robert Preedy, the author of Roller Coasters: Their Amazing History and Roller Coasters: Shake, Rattle and Roll, has joined the Dreamland Trust as Specialist Rides Coordinator. Robert, who has also written on subjects such as cinemas, local history and the Batley Variety Club, until recently owned a cinema and radio station in Yorkshire, but has now moved permanently to Kent. His role at Dreamland will be to research the history of the rides we have acquired and to source and acquire additional historical rides from around the world for inclusion in the park.

For contact details, click here.

The Trust has four objects:

(a) to promote the use of all or some of the land known as Dreamland as an area designated as an amusement park for recreation and leisure-time occupations.

(b) to advance education by raising awareness of the historical value of the Scenic Railway situated within the area of land known as Dreamland and the amusement park rides and attractions acquired

(c) to preserve the heritage of amusement park rides and attractions by acquiring them and locating them on the site known as Dreamland for the benefit of the general public. 

(d) to promote regeneration in the central area of Margate known variously as the seafront or the promenade area between the Clock Tower and the Railway Station and its environs.

We are sure that these encapsulate everything we all work for.

The Save Dreamland Campaign is now administered by The Dreamland Trust.

The Trust is accepting donations. Click here for information on how to donate.

Visit the News page for the latest updates.

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