Dreamland Trust Open Meeting

We are holding an open meeting to discuss the future direction of the Dreamland Trust. It will be at the Winter Gardens on 18th of October at 7pm. All welcome. Please share. This meeting is about the Future of The Dreamland Trust moving forward.Image result for winter gardens margate

There will be an opportunity to ask questions of the Trust team, including former chair and co-founder Nick Laister and new chair Bernie Morgan. But most importantly, this is an opportunity to discuss what you would like to see the Dreamland Trust focusing on in the coming months and years.

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The Dreamland Trust announces new chair

The Dreamland Trust has appointed Bernie Morgan as its new chaberniemorganir.

Bernie lives in Thanet and owns Bernie’s Chocolate Bar in Margate High Street. She was formerly the CEO of Responsible Finance and, prior to that, wrote the design brief for the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground in Hyde Park. She has a background in charities and social enterprises and is a passionate believer in creating vibrant communities which generate economic empowerment.

Bernie said: “I am delighted and honoured to be joining the Trust at this pivotal time. Nick Laister and the team have achieved so much and I am looking forward to building on this good work and take the Trust into the future.”

She added: “The community of Thanet holds Dreamland in its heart – and I intend to build on that goodwill and work with all stakeholders, so that the Trust realises its potential. As a community non-profit organisation, the Trust leads on the heritage and education aspects of Dreamland.”

Bernie replaces Nick Laister, who announced his intention to step down earlier this year, with immediate effect.

Nick said: “I am delighted that Bernie has agreed to join the Dreamland Trust as its new chair. Her local knowledge, mixed with her background in community projects and social enterprises, makes her the perfect person to lead the Dreamland Trust in its next phase of work. I very much look forward to working with Bernie.”

Nick Laister, who was the Trust’s first chair, will continue as a director of the Dreamland Trust.

Bernie will be meeting people at a public meeting, the date of which will be announced shortly.

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Chair of the Dreamland Trust: Job Advert

The Dreamland Trust’s current chair, Nick Laister, announced his intention to step down earlier this year. The Trust has now started the process of finding a replacement. Details of the role are in The Guardian. Please share the advert to anybody who you think might be a suitable candidate…https://goo.gl/Nc7tZO

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Statement from the Dreamland Trust

The Dreamland Trust is delighted that the park’s commercial operator has announced that Dreamland will be free to enter from next weekend. This brings the park a step closer to the model proposed by the Dreamland Trust, which was the basis for the grant awarded to the project by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Trust is confident that this approach, which will make the park more accessible to the local community and to visitors to the town, will help to strengthen the viability of the park, and should be seen as a stepping stone to fully implementing the Dreamland Trust’s vision for the park.

We hope that a restructured or new operator will also embrace the concept of an amusement park of historic rides, which create an attraction that is unique in the world, distinctively different to other seaside amusement parks and theme parks in the UK. The current line-up is a firm basis for taking this vision forward, and the Dreamland Trust has always been certain that such an approach, with the right selection of rides and attractions that cater for as wide an audience as possible, will be a viable operation. Nothing that we have seen in the past 12 months, since the park reopened, has changed that view.

The Trust remains willing to work with any operator – existing or future – to deliver our vision and maximise the benefits to Margate.

We urge people to visit the park over the summer and find out what they have been missing. The Dreamland Trust and Thanet District Council, with support from Heritage Lottery Fund, delivered the newly restored historic Chairoplanes ride to the park this month, and this is now open. The Trust and its partners will be delivering more new rides later in the year.

13233015_861371317324291_5855553484934889095_nDuring this period of uncertainty, the Trust will be stepping forward to reaffirm the principles and passion which underpinned the successful Save Dreamland Campaign from 2003. The people of Thanet who care about the future of Dreamland and who want to maintain and celebrate its heritage and its cultural contribution need an opportunity to have their voices heard. We will be holding a public meeting in July which will give people a chance to say what’s important about Dreamland, to reaffirm the basic principles behind the attraction and to allow the community to become involved and to give the Trust a genuinely local voice. We will release more information about this event shortly.

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Dreamland Tea Dance

Sunday 12 June 2016 14:00
to Sunday 12 June 2016 18:00

Dreamland Trust Presents: The Dreamland Tea Dance

£8 standard entry
£6 in advance/ members
£4 OAPs
£6.95 Cream Tea

A slice of strictly comes to Margate!

Come and relive the good old days and enjoy an afternoon of music and social dancing in the beautifully restored 1920s Ballroom.

Ms Tequila Slammer Anna will be your hostess for the afternoon, offering dance demonstrations and tuition.

And with help from the Ragroof players and live music from The Piccadilly Dance Orchestra, the Dreamland Tea Dance will be a chance to dust off your dancing shoes and enjoy sequence and social dance with a mix of Ballroom, Latin, Swing and Argentine Tango. All abilities welcome!

Why not add a Cream Tea to your afternoon? For only £6.95, feast on a delicious array of scones, sandwiches and teas. This can only be purchased in addition to a Dancing Only ticket.

For more details, click here: https://www.dreamland.co.uk/events/listings/eventdetail/177/9/dreamland-tea-dance

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Dreamland Trust to appoint new chair

Nick Laister has announced that he is to steDSC7877-300pixp down as chair of the Dreamland Trust, the charity that was responsible for saving Margate’s famous Dreamland Amusement Park from re-development and preserving its rich heritage.

Nick, who co-founded the organisation and was its first chair, says: “The Dreamland Trust launched the idea of reopening Dreamland as an amusement park of historic rides in 2007, and worked with its partners, Thanet District Council and Heritage Lottery Fund, to secure the necessary funding and deliver this unique project.

“With the opening of Dreamland in 2015 the Trust is now entering a new phase, where we will look to maximise the community, education and heritage benefits resulting from the project, as well as contributing to the development of other parts of the site, such as the Dreamland Cinema. This seemed to me to be an appropriate point for me to step down to allow a new chair to drive the organisation forward. It will also allow me to concentrate on other commitments.”

“I will remain as chair until a replacement is found, and I will be continuing as a director of the Dreamland Trust. I remain passionate about the Dreamland project, proud of what we have achieved, and firmly believe that the Trust has a significant role to play in the future of Dreamland.”

The Trust is now actively seeking a new chair. This non-executive voluntary role offers an excellent opportunity for an outstanding individual to shape the direction of the Trust, expand its membership, and make a real contribution to the regeneration of Margate.

Nick set up the Save Dreamland Campaign in January 2003, after successfully securing the listing of the Scenic Railway roller coaster the previous year. He set up the Dreamland Trust in 2007 and became its first voluntary chair, leading the Trust through its fund-raising and park development phase, through to the opening of Dreamland in June 2015. Nick is a chartered town planner and director at one of the UK’s largest planning consultancies, where he specialises in the development of visitor attractions, acting for numerous operators of theme parks, zoos and other attractions. He also owns Oxfordshire visitor attraction Fairytale Farm, the UK’s first farm park to be designed around the needs of children with disabilities.

More details on this opportunity can be found here.

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Dreamland reopens after 12 year campaign!


The famous Dreamland Amusement Park in Margate reopened on 19th June 2015 following a 12-year campaign to save the attraction, which is the oldest surviving amusement park in the UK. The Dreamland Trust is the organisation that originated the project, secured funding and managed its delivery.

Nick Laister, chairman of the Trust, gave a short speech just before the ribbon was cut talking about highlights of the 12-year project, and thanking the organisations that had helped the Trust deliver, notably the Save Dreamland Campaign, Thanet District Council, Heritage Lottery Fun and, in recent months, Sands Heritage Ltd.

Nick says: “It is now 12 years since I first set up the Save Dreamland Campaign. The reopening of the park on 19th June was an incredible day for me and the hundreds of campaigners who have worked tirelessly to make this happen.”

Nick, who first got involved with Dreamland in 2001 when he successfully asked the UK Government to give listed building status to the Scenic Railway roller coaster, adds:

“The idea for rebuilding Dreamland as an attraction that celebrates amusement park and seaside history and culture was something that we came up with in 2007. It seemed so right to rescue rides that were being destroyed in amusement park redevelopments, at the height of the property bubble and rebuild them alongside the Scenic Railway in a vibrant new visitor attraction at Dreamland. “

Susan Marsh, the Secretary of the Dreamland Trust, takes up the story:

“We decided that campaigning alone wasn’t enough. There needed to be an organisation that could actually involve itself in driving forward plans to reopen Dreamland, by going out there and securing funding for the project. We needed to bring to life the hopes and aspirations of the many volunteers and thousands of supporters, locally, nationally and even internationally.”

The Dreamland Trust was born towards the end of 2007, with some very hardworking directors coming on board who then set about persuading numerous organisations around the UK that Dreamland was a cause worth supporting. Nick says:

“With organisations such as English Heritage and the Arts Council behind us, we were able to apply for money from Heritage Lottery and the Government. We successfully secured several million pounds from Heritage Lottery Fund and we eventually managed to get the project budget up to £18m.”

With the money in place, The Dreamland Trust began to develop the layout, look and feel of the park. But there were major setbacks. Susan says:

“The Scenic Railway fire of 2008 was a major blow to the project. Not only was 25% of the structure of the listed roller coaster destroyed, the station and workshops were also lost, including all the original wooden trains with their distinctive carved dragon’s heads. But in an unexpected way, it gave the project traction as everybody realised that if things did not happen quickly Dreamland would be lost forever. The project really took off.”

From that day the project gained momentum, and with millions of pounds of funding in place a team of designers, engineers and amusement ride specialists came on board and, under the Dreamland Trust’s leadership, the project that we see today started to take shape.

Susan adds: “We appointed a team of top consultants, architects and designers. For example, we appointed Wayne Hemingway as a consultant to create the Dreamland branding. We stated that we did not want a heritage amusement park – the term was actually banned! We wanted a mix of rides from all eras, events, festivals, food and numerous supporting attractions, all presented in a non-ironic way. The team brilliantly embraced our vision.”

Nick explains that recently a local company has been appointed to operate the park:

“The Dreamland Trust and its partner Thanet District Council have now selected a local company, Sands Heritage Ltd, who are responsible for operating Dreamland.”

Sands Heritage organised the highly acclaimed opening day which, despite a small number of rides not being operating, really hit the mark.

Nick says: “In a town that has already seen positive change following the very successful opening of Turner Contemporary, Dreamland is another major leap forward. The opening day felt like one giant party, and Dreamland will now bring hundreds of thousands of tourists to Margate, will create hundreds of jobs and opportunities for local companies.

“I am proud of the Dreamland Trust’s successful work to bring this iconic attraction back from dereliction – a demonstration of how effective a passionate group of volunteers can be in really making things happen. It has been a long, hard fought, 12-year process, and the icing on the cake has been Sands Heritage Ltd’s brilliant realisation of of our vision over a ridiculously tight timescale.

“This is only the beginning, and the Dreamland Trust looks forward to working with Sands Heritage, Thanet District Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund to ensure this project provides the maximum benefit to the community.”

There is a Photo Gallery of the Grand Opening on Facebook and you can view the opening ceremony on YouTube.

The opening of Dreamland has been covered extensively on television, radio and newspapers. Notable are Third Sector Magazine, Isle of Thanet Gazette, Kent Online, Press Association, Sunday Mirror, Daily Mail 1, Daily Mail 2, The Independent, The Guardian, Channel 4 News, BBC News, ITV News and The Telegraph.

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A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from The Dreamland Trust!

Eric Sillers courtesy of Sharon Floate

Eric Sillers courtesy of Sharon Floate


A big THANK YOU to all our supporters, volunteers, partners and staff for their contribution this year and previous years – see you all in 2015!  Meanwhile here is the next Scenic Railway restoration time-lapse video http://youtu.be/u1yGWl4br7w.


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Dreamland Visitor & Learning Arcade

Dreamland Visitor & Learning Arcade


Sunday 28 December 2014 from 11am until 4pm
Thursday 1 January 2015 from mid-day until 3pm
Friday 2 January 2015 from mid-day until 3pm


Saturdays from 11am until 4pm
Sundays from 11am until 4pm


The Dreamland Expo and Visitor & Learning Arcade is now taking bookings for 2015 for community activities including:

school visits
photo shoots

For more information please email arcade@dreamlandmargate.co.uk.

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5 FREE Circus Workshop Places at Dreamland!

Acrojou Jesters

Acrojou Jesters

Acrojou German Wheel

Acrojou German Wheel

The Dreamland Trust has teamed up with the amazing international contemporary circus outfit, Acrojou, to bring you two exclusive circus arts workshops to Dreamland and is delighted to offer 5 FREE places on a first come, first served basis!

Blending acrobatics, story-telling, performance craft and hand-built structures, Acrojou create unique contemporary circus experiences worldwide. These exciting workshops will introduce you to some of the disciplines used in their work and in contemporary circus.

Workshops are aimed at moderately fit 14-18 year olds and include:

  • An introduction to contemporary circus skills
  • Taster sessions in a variety of circus disciplines
  • German Wheel
  • Certificates of completion
  • Participation contributes towards the Arts Award Scheme
  • Packed lunch and refreshments

Workshops are held on Monday 22 December 2014 and Tuesday 23 December 2014 from 11am until 3pm at the Dreamland Expo, Dreamland Visitor & Learning Arcade, Marine Terrace, Margate CT9 1JX. Beginners welcome!


To secure your FREE place email jan@dreamlandmargate.co.uk

For more information about Acrojou please visit http://www.acrojou.com/.

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