Dreamland operator hunt begins for Thanet council

Scenic Railway at Dreamland Image copyright PA/Gareth Fuller
Image caption The park is home to a 1920s roller coaster and a 1935 cinema building

A search has begun to find an operator for Margate's Dreamland theme park.

Thanet District Council is offering a 35-year contract for an operator to run the business in east Kent.

The site has been preserved and part-refurbished by the council and The Dreamland Trust - an organisation that grew out of the Save Dreamland Campaign which fought to save the park.

Dreamland, once home to Europe's largest big wheel, closed in 2003 and fell into disrepair.

'Historic status'

The park is home to the 1920s Scenic Railway, a 1935 art deco cinema building, and menagerie cages that date back to the 1800s and are believed to be the last remaining type of their kind.

The Scenic Railway was hit by two suspected arson attacks since 2008.

Dreamland was bought by Thanet District Council through a compulsory purchase order in 2011. Legal proceedings took two years and ownership transferred to the council in September.

Restoration work has taken place with the support of government grants and support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, because of the site's historic status and heritage assets.

Council leader Iris Johnston said plans were progressing to turn Dreamland into an exciting new amusement park.

The cabinet member for tourism added: "With a rich history and a bright future Dreamland is a fantastic prospect with the potential to bring a massive boost to tourism in the district."

Tenders can be made until 14:00 BST on 25 July.

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