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Published on Jun 20, 2015
It’s taken 12 years and £18 million, but it’s finally back open for business! This video shows the official opening of Margate’s Dreamland Amusement Park.
On 19 June 2015 crowds flocked to the seaside funland which includes restored vintage rides, a roller disco, pleasure gardens, restaurants, arcades and amusements – all harking back to the golden age of the British seaside.
The park’s history has been fraught. For decades a popular tourist attraction, pulling in young and old alike with its mix of arcades and white-knuckle rides, it suffered as Margate declined as a tourist venue and a new breed of theme parks opened on huge sprawling sites and boasting ever-more extravant experiences.
After a period of steady decline, the late owner decided in 2003 to shut it and use the land for commercial and residential development, a decision that was deeply unpopular with locals.
A Government report looked into it, and as a result, it was sold to Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company in 2005 for £20 million. But then things stalled…
As the Turner Contemporary art gallery opened and became a catalyst for regeneration, so pressure began to grow on turning one of the seafront’s prime sites into something to capitalise on the town’s changing reputation.
A group – the Dreamland Trust – was formed with ambition to turn the site into a heritage amusement park and attempted to acquire the site. After a lengthy legal wrangle, it finally secured the site, paving the way for the project to start taking shape. Twelve years later the site is open.
Please share this video and look out for further ones showing the various rides, including interviews with visitors.