Margate's Dreamland fails to reach expected visitor volume, enters administration

Posted Tuesday, May 31, 2016 11:15 AM | Contributed by Rick_UK

Failure to attract enough visitors forced Margate's Dreamland amusement park to call in administrators, the local council leader says. The park reopened in a blaze of publicity in 2015 after an £18m restoration but operator Sands Heritage went into administration on Friday.

Read more from The BBC.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016 6:43 PM

Administration = bankruptcy?

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016 7:27 PM

According to the Internets, it would appear so. I'm not sure what the legal protections are for them compared to the US system.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016 11:28 PM

It's broadly equivalent to your chapter eleven. Trading can continue while they try to restructure.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016 5:54 AM

Poor Margate.

While it was admirable that preservationists worked on reviving the amusement area, (closed since 2006, no less) I wondered just how successful it would be. The Scenic Railway certainly is a relic and its reopening is significant to enthusiasts and historians. But the accompanying promise was to re-establish the park with favorite and vintage rides that would evoke a forgotten era and bring people back to the area. From what I've seen it missed that mark, as there are just a few antiques mixed in with basic carnival flats. And in the end, while quaint, how successful would that be anyway?

Habits amongst British holiday goers have changed and I liken the shift to what happened to seasonal lakeside cottage communities, (that often included an amusement park,) over here. Modern theme parks and opportunities for wider travel have replaced that form of relaxation.

So it's a shame if they can't make a go of it, especially after time and money was spent to preserve the Scenic. I'm in the planning stages of my first trip to Europe and if U.K. is included I'm hoping to make stops like this a part of my itinerary.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016 9:52 AM

Sure would like to get there while the park is still open....not enough scenic railways in the world.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016 11:03 AM

Second oldest in the world? Or something?
Anyway, it's not the fastest or the most thrilling thing, but I just know I'd really dig it.
It looks like my trip starts in Amsterdam (which I don't have a problem with. At all.)
The on to Germany. I'll have two weeks so UK may be a possibility.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016 2:17 PM

It's fair to say there has been quite a bit of scepticism in the air in terms of what they could do with Dreamland, give the money they had available and the state of the town. Dreamland survived for so long (in various guises, with varying levels of success) because Margate was thriving. Now that the town is barely existing, I don't fancy their chances.

They had such grand plans (and maybe they still do) to relocate some truly historic rides, but it appears to have become too costly to do so.

This pretty much shows how the 'park' was last time I was there... it was essentially just a fairground with the Scenic. Hats off to them for 'saving' the Scenic, but it's essentially a new ride. Here's some great 60s footage.

Edit - also, you can read the original 'Dreamland Vision' here

Last edited by Rick_UK, Wednesday, June 1, 2016 2:30 PM
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Wednesday, June 1, 2016 6:31 PM

Wow, the Lorain County Fair has more rides than that.

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