The tourist industry of Margate is set to get a massive boost thanks to a £3.7 million government grant that will see the restoration of Margate’s Dreamland theme park and its Scenic Railway rollercoaster -the oldest surviving wooden rollercoaster in the UK.
The Scenic Railway rollercoaster was built in 1920 and is one of the few surviving rides at Margate’s Dreamland – a derelict amusement park – that is to benefit from the grant from Sea Change, a government scheme led by CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) aimed at reviving seaside towns.
The multi-million pound investment will see the restoration of the Grade II cinema and a vintage theme park built on the existing Dreamland site. Many of the rides set to be installed in the vintage theme park have been rescued from amusement parks across the UK, some of which are the last surviving rides of their type.
The redevelopment is expected to create a major new visitor attraction to regenerate the town, create new jobs and revive Margate’s tourism industry by attracting around 700,000 visitors each year.
The new Dreamland is scheduled to open in 2011.