Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Taxpayers pay £4m to Dreamland

Short and sweet: What does everyone think?



  1. Better value than the M&S building that also cost £4m.

    More likely to bring in visitors than the M&S building.

    Combined with the the Turner Contemporary there's going to be almost enough to make it worth a day/weekend stay in Margate again.

    The cost to the taxpayers will hopefully end up offset by an increase in trade and spending in the area.

  2. The trouble is that it simply isn't the first or only heritage funfair. Ok - they are trying to find a USP by calling it an amusement park, but when does a funfair become an amusement park. Dingles (The Naional Fairground Trust)and Hollycombe (the largest steam collection) are fixed sites that already own and operate the most important historic rides in the UK - or in some cases the world! The rides available to Dreamland, including a reproduction of the scenic railway (the original cars etc. have all been destroyed) are of a certain nostalgia value but won't bring 700 visitors a year to Margate.

    If the heritage theme is going to be dropped then Dreamland wil need a lot more than 12 million (of which 4 is site acquisition)and alot more space to compete against modern theme parks.

    Where is the return - direct or by secondary spend - in the town to Thanet?

  3. meant to say 700,000 - I'm sure 700 will come!

  4. Holycombe's rides are quite a lot smaller than many of those planned for Dreamland.

    Dingles is a very long drive from Kent or London so the catchment areas are totally different.

    Hopefully this will mean Margate isn't competing with either of these directly and I feel it offers a unique offering anyway.

    From the SaveDreamland forum the latest was that they are not planning to install modern rides to compete with modern theme parks and indeed I don't feel they have the space to go that route. The "dropping heritage" comments seem to have come from the press rather than the Dreamland Trust.

  5. Thanks 19.47, I hadn't heard of Dingles. They have some great pieces. It looks interesting. It would be great if Margate could have some really old features like that. It would really resonate with the nostalgia that people have for the town.

    I hope the trust can manage to landscape the site to remove the giant car park look it has now, and revive some of the pleasure garden/park aspect. After all, it is about selling dreams.

    As well as to children it should also appeal to the adult Turner Contemporary, in the style of the Dippers and Dunkers event last year. It was on a small scale, but did fill the old town.

    As for 4 million to Jimmy G...

  6. Glad to hear, 20.30, that the heritage theme is not being dropped - but that puts Dreamland firmly in the Dingles/Hollycombe bracket. Agreed that it may have some larger set-piece rides and will be at the seaside, so will not be in direct competition with these and other established heritage attractions.

    However, it will face the same challenges of finding an offer which is attractive to a wide customer base. The market for the established heritage funfairs is made up of families with young children and a dwindling number of enthusiasts and nostalgia seekers. Teenagers/young adults, which were Dreamland's mainstay in its heyday, prefer modern white knucle attractions - even a new scenic railway will be too tame for them!

    So where will 700,000 paying visitors come from?

  7. It's great isn't we have no money we can't do anything, but we have a few squillion in our back pocket to by Dreamland. Another stitch up for the tax payer

  8. Great idea, I think the unique selling point will attract a lot of visitors as well as preserving the past. The UK needs more landmark attractions, it will benefit the national economy as well as the UK economy in the long term.