Margate's Dreamland attraction is celebrating its first birthday with the launch of a bold new business strategy. The vintage amusement park is scrapping admission charges to boost visitor numbers. Instead, fun seekers will pay for individual rides. Managers hope the move will rescue the site from financial crisis. John Ryall reports.
The interviewee is Eddie Kemsley, Dreamland's Chief Executive.
Margate's Dreamland attraction has opens its gates for the first day of free-admission for visitors.
The vintage amusement park, which re-opened a year ago, hopes the move will rescue it from financial problems by boosting the site's disappointing visitor numbers.
Instead of paying an entry fee visitors will now pay for individual rides.
Dreamland in Margate will be free to enter from this coming weekend.
The Dreamland Trust is confident that the approach will make the park more accessible to the local community and to visitors.
We hope that a restructured or new operator will also embrace the concept of an amusement park of historic rides, which would 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.
It's been back in business for less than a year but the future of Margate's Dreamland is once again in doubt. The vintage amusement park which re-opened in June after a multi-million pound restoration has called in administrators on Friday. Tom Savvides reports.
The next stage of renovations at Dreamland in Margate is being planned, with Thanet Council looking for contractors to work on the site. Restoration of the former Sunshine Cafe and the cinema will get underway, although more funding will be needed to complete the work.
Creditors today agreed a rescue package for Margate's Dreamland, which has run up debts of nearly three million pounds just seven months after its troubled relaunch as a vintage amusement park. The company running it has entered into a Voluntary Arrangement to settle debts over five years - a move that avoids going into liquidation. Dreamland's 18 million pound restoration was largely funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and other public money. Tonight - questions about the project's financial management, and doubts about Dreamland's future viability. Sarah Saunders reports.
Managers of the Dreamland vintage amusement park at Margate have confirmed they're struggling to clear debts understood to be almost £3m.Read the full story ›
Screams from the oldest roller-coster in the country have not been heard in Margate for almost 10 years - but today the vintage attraction is rolling once again at Dreamland. The scenic railway wasn't ready for the park's grand re-opening in June - but now the ride is back - and ready to thrill. Sarah Saunders took a ride.
The Scenic Railway at Dreamland in Kent opened today for a special preview for members. The newly renovated Grade II listed attraction can be tested by the public from 10am on Friday. The wooden railway was damaged in an arson attack in 2008.
Ahead of tomorrow's public re-opening of Dreamland's historic The Scenic Railway rollercoaster our reporter, Sarah Saunders, is there. She will have a full report later.