Plans to restore the shuttered Dreamland Margate amusement park have received a boost, with the UK's Heritage Lottery awarding the project a £3.7 million grant.
The plans will see Dreamland transformed into a "historic amusement park", holding a range of classic attractions. The Dreamland Trust, which is behind the restoration efforts, now says it has all of the funds required to reopen the park in summer 2013.
A key element of the park's revival will be repairs to the famous Scenic Railway roller coaster, which will form the centrepiece of Dreamland when it returns to operation. The ride was badly damaged in arson attack in 2008, and has stood derelict ever since.
A number of vintage amusement park attractions have been rescued from other defunct seaside parks around the UK by the Dreamland Trust, and will now be rehomed at the updated park. These include the Cableway from Pleasureland Southport, the former Wild Mouse coaster from Morecambe’s Pleasure Park, and the Whip that was removed from Blackpool Pleasure Beach in 2008.
The Dreamland Trust hopes to attract 350,000 visitors a year to the updated Dreamland. The Heritage Lottery Grant will be spent on restoring the Scenic Railway, along with the Dreamland Cinema and the park's main entrance. Full details of the plans can be found on the Dreamland Margate website.