Calling All Creative Minds: Dreamland Designer, Wayne Hemingway MBE, Nick Laister, Chairman, Mike Nuttall, Project Director, Jan Leandro and Grant Burton TDC

Calling All Creative Minds: Dreamland Designer, Wayne Hemingway MBE, Nick Laister, Chairman, Mike Nuttall, Project Director, Jan Leandro and Grant Burton TDC


Many of you will know by now that His Honour Judge Sycamore comprehensively dismissed Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company Limited’s legal challenge over the Secretary of State’s decision to grant Thanet District Council ownership of the Dreamland Margate site.  In the final paragraph of his judgement Judge Sycamore said;

“For all of these reasons I am not satisfied that there is any merit in any part of this challenge and in those circumstances the claimants’ application is dismissed.”

The judgement was released at the Manchester Courts where The Dreamland Trust’s Hon Secretary, Susan Marsh, attended in person to hear the ruling.  Susan instantly relayed the news to our Chairman, Nick Laister, who made the announcement in the middle of a Dreamland design meeting.

It was a hard to remain focussed on the subject of electrical sub stations at that point, so we had a brief interlude to recalibrate!

We didn’t anticipate the lengthy delays incurred at the outset of the project in January 2010 – it’s been a long and complex journey and a particularly frustrating one for the people of Margate who began the campaign to Save Dreamland in 2003.

The council served a Compulsory Purchase Order on MTCRC Ltd in 2011 which the landowners objected to.  In March 2012 the CPO went to a Public Inquiry resulting in approval from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in August 2012 for the compulsory purchase of the site.  MTCRC Ltd subsequently launched an appeal which challenged the decision.

Following last month’s successful High Court ruling the council is now working to secure title to the land. Once the vesting process has ended the land will be handed leased to The Dreamland Trust so that we can begin rebuilding Dreamland. We can’t wait!


“It was great to meet so many people at the recent Calling All Creative Minds community engagement event and it reiterated to me the real opportunity for Dreamland to act as a significant catalyst for continuing the positive local economic impact generated from Turner Contemporary and recent investment in the old town.

In simple terms, Dreamland is a major, seaside regeneration project and that is why we have been able to secure the external investment to date and with the significant support of Thanet District Council we can genuinely

achieve significant, sustainable outputs. Providing we continue to work effectively with, and for, the local community.

The excitement and challenge is helping to provide sustainable economic growth through a range of exciting, relevant and unique attractions; delivering great services to the visitors; providing ‘something for everyone’; creating and maintaining long term job, training and career opportunities; maximising the use of the local supply chain wherever possible and attracting a wider audience all year round.

We all know that Margate, like a number of seaside towns, fell on challenging times but the corner has been turned and the rejuvenation of Dreamland will help build on the new platform, accelerate investment, creation the of opportunities and significantly update the ‘offer’ to visitors, residents and investors.

I am convinced if we work effectively together, with a can do attitude, Dreamland can play a key role in creating a new economic focus and have a positive catalytic effect for many years to come.

However it won’t be an easy or a short ride with more dips, bumps and turns to overcome but the prize is such a great one and I am confident we will achieve it.”


We had a fantastic turn out to our community engagement event at Turner Contemporary last month – it’s great to see so many people being inspired by Dreamland!

We invited Margate’s very talented creative community to meet the design team and find out how they could support the project.

Our grateful thanks go to Turner Contemporary for hosting the event, volunteer, Suzannah Foad and Canterbury College students for documenting the evening.

We had some terrific ideas and solutions put forward on the night and have now received outline proposals for:

  • Topiary and landscaping
  • Artist made prizes for sideshows
  • Pop-up  shops
  • Photographic document
  • Cabaret/performance
  • Video  production
  • Media and marketing
  • Community urban artwork
  • Retro  skate park
  • Youth newsletter

to name but a few…

Once we have gained access to the Dreamland site we will be inviting the creative community back to discuss their ideas in more detail – so exciting!


BBC Radio Kent’s Sunday Supplement 26 May 2013

The Dreamland Trust live on BBC Radio Kent’s Sunday Supplement 26 May 2013. Musician, composer and writer, Neil Sparkes, chats with the two Pauls tomorrow about Dreamland and it’s youth cults heritage at 1pm on 96.7fm | 104.2fm | DAB.

 Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing

Enter a world of wonder, fascination and enquiry. Experience the spectacular and the bizarre, the startling and mysterious, contemporary art alongside historical artefacts, as Turner Contemporary becomes a cabinet of curiosities. Open until 15 September 2013. Free entry.

Ace Café London Margate Meltdown 27 May 2013

We’re sooo looking forward to the return of Ace Cafe London’s 6th annual Margate Meltdown this Spring Bank Holiday. Celebrating their 75th anniversary the Meltdown starts arriving along Margate’s seafront on the morning of 27 May 2013 where an impressive exhibition of motor bikes and scooters line the streets. This is a free event with live entertainment at noon together with rockin’ DJ Bill Guntrip in the piazza. For more information visit the Ace Café website.

RIBA Love Architecture Festival 21-30 June 2013

Dreamland features in a number of events at this year’s national Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) Love Architecture Festival.

The Dreamland Trust is exhibiting drawings and designs from The Champneys Collection. Walpole Champneys (1879-1961) was the appointed interior designer for Dreamland’s 1934 Grade II* listed cinema complex.

Champneys’ colourful mural and decorative schemes once adorned the interior of the Dreamland Cinema and Sunshine Café. The exhibition of works, loaned by Champneys’ granddaughter Jacqueline Maynard, will reveal what is hidden beneath layers of paint in the cinema building.

This free exhibition opens Saturday 22 June at the Pie Factory Gallery until the end of the festival.

Dreamland architects, Guy Hollaway Architects, are exhibiting a 3D model of Dreamland’s Grade II* listed Scenic Railway in the Foyle Rooms at Turner Contemporary Thursday 27 June to Sunday 30 June 2013. Full details at

The RIBA will be holding their annual sandcastle challenge on Margate Sands Saturday on 29 June 2013. The competition will be judged by Dreamland’s designer, Wayne Hemingway MBE, who is also championing Kent County Council’s City of Culture bid for 2017 – free event.

After the judging Wayne Hemingway will be giving an informal talk at 3.45pm in the Pie Factory Gallery about HemingwayDesign’s vision for Dreamland – free event no booking required, but arrive early to bag a place!

Scenic Railway in water colour until 30 June 2013 Stark Gallery, Canterbury

Artist Paul Gadenne has three beautiful watercolour paintings of Dreamland’s Scenic Railway on exhibition. Paul lectured in Design at Hastings College of Art and teaches Graphics and Design at St Edmund’s School, Canterbury. He recently took part in a watercolour demonstration for the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition at the Mall Galleries and has written about his work for The Artist magazine – free entry.

Lounge on the Farm Festival 26-29 July 2013

Dreamland is delighted to be appearing at the fabulous Lounge on the Farm this year with the Vintage Pinball Parlour and DJ Jo Wallace. Jo compiled the Soul Satisfaction CD series for Motown and closed Glastonbury 2009/10 with Eddie Piller and Norman Jay. Full details, programme and tickets all available on the LOTF website.

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