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August 3, 2009

Plan To Open World's First Amusement Park of Historic Rides Moves Forward

Margate, UKDreamland Trust has been given the green light and funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund to proceed with plans to create the world's first amusement park of historic rides. A total of £384,500 was awarded to help move the project forward.

Phase one plans for the Dreamland Margate project including creating a thrilling amusement park of historic rides, many of which will be the last surviving example of their type.

Dreamland Trust has been rescuing these rides from across the UK for over the past decade. The hope is that one day visitors will be able to come to Margate to experience this rare collection of rides.

The centerpiece of this historic amusement park will be the Grade-II listed "Scenic Railway", one of the oldest roller coasters in existence and the oldest in the UK.

The group anticipates the park will draw approximately 700,000 visitors annually. Entry to the park and landscaped grounds will be free and rides will be priced separately.

"We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us the opportunity to further develop our vision for Dreamland Margate," said Susan Marsh, Dreamland Trust Honorary Secretary.

"Along with our partners at the Margate Renewal Partnership, Thanet District Council and the Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company, we are committed to bringing this project to reality as quickly as possible," said Marsh.

Passing the initial round, the Dreamland Trust now has two years to submit more detailed plans to the Heritage Lottery Fund and apply for an additional £2.65 million of HLF support. The group is hoping to raise a total of £12 million for phase one of the project.

"We will now work up detailed plans to ensure that we deliver this unique new visitor attraction in the heart of Margate, providing a major boost for the tourism economy and giving the people of Margate what they have so long wished for – a revitalized Dreamland," Marsh added.

Besides the historic Scenic Railway, phase one will include the restoration of the Grade-II listed Dreamland cinema building, including its 1930s Modernist façade, auditorium and Compton Noterman organ.

The group is also planning to install exhibition space to explain and publicize the project.

The Save Dreamland Campaign, which is administered by the Trust, was launched in 2003 and is now supported by over 18,000 people, including local residents, businesses and organizations. The campaign is also supported by the Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain and the European Coaster Club.

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