grow your vision
The name ‘Dreamland’ has been synonymous with Margate for nearly 100 years and has provided enjoyment for millions of people during that time. In 1989 the BBC comedy Only Fools and Horses filmed their Christmas Special ‘The Jolly boys Outing’ which included the cast riding on many of Dreamlands well known rides including the Scenic Railway. However, during the 1990s and 2000s the popularity of cheap foreign holidays meant that the site became financially unviable. The owners took the decision to close the site and planned to build houses on it. The original idea was a retail park.
In April 2002 following a successful campaign to ensure the future of the Scenic Railway it received Grade II Listing. The Save Dreamland Campaign was set up in 2003 to ensure the future of Dreamland. The Dreamland Trust was part of the campaign to save Dreamland and worked with Thanet District Council and the Prince’s Regeneration Trust to secure funding to save the amusement park and the Dreamland buildings.
In 2013 Thanet District Council compulsory purchased the site to ensure the land and buildings could not be used for a retail park or housing, but rather to reinstate the pleasure park and other facilities that had once run on the site.
The project to reopen all areas of the site is a huge undertaking in terms of time and money. But through public and private funding the council is working hard towards having all elements of the site up and running.
The Dreamland site includes a range of different areas and buildings all of which have a unique and important role in Margate’s past and future.
Dreamland Pleasure Park Land – (including the grade II* listed Scenic Railway)
Grade II* listed Cinema Building – including the former Sunshine Café, former Bali Hai public house, Bingo Hall and Cinema
Grade II listed menagerie cages and folly
Our vision is of a thriving Dreamland in Margate, which engages local partners and the local community in its work. We want Dreamland to be recognised nationally and internationally for the place it holds in the history of amusement parks and the development of popular (especially British seaside) culture throughout the ages.
The Dreamland Trust exists to protect and promote the heritage, education, historic and brand proposition of Dreamland in Margate and safeguard them for the future.
To achieve this vision, The Dreamland Heritage Trust, a registered charity, will work with Dreamland’s operator and other key partners to ensure the:
• preservation, restoration, maintenance and protection of the cinema, structures, plant, equipment and artefacts connected to Dreamland Margate, which are of historic, cultural, architectural, constructional or scientific interest, or exhibit craftsmanship worthy of preservation.
• promotion of public knowledge, appreciation and understanding of the historic and cultural aspects of Dreamland Margate and the area in which it is situated.
• promotion of public access to the structures and equipment and public knowledge, appreciation and understanding of their architectural, constructional, scientific and craft features.
• advancement of education associated with Dreamland Margate and its surrounding area.
• building of a community of advocates and supporters.
• preservation and development of the brand values of the whole site.