Dreamland Margate is set to be revived as a heritage amusement park after the Court of Appeal rejected an appeal from the site's former owner against a compulsory purchase order.
The Dreamland Trust had originally hoped to reopen Dreamland some time ago, but progress has been slowed considerably by the legal battle with DreamlandLive. Thanet District Council, though, has continued to back the Trust and rejected alternative plans from DreamlandLive involving the construction of 400 homes and a more limited amusement park.
Dreamland will now be converted into a heritage amusement park populated by historical attractions. Funds are in place for the restoration work, with the UK's Heritage Lottery having previously awarded the project a £3.7 million grant. 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. Full details of the plans can be found on the Dreamland Margate website.
For its part, DreamlandLive claims it will now seek compensation from the council. It questioned the Dreamland Trust's credentials, saying in a statement: "The Dreamland Trust and [its head] Nick Laister were put forward by the secretary of state as successful business people. Time will be the proof of the SOS's comments and the TDC [Thanet District Council] trust in the Dreamland team."