Dreamland, Margate

Listed Grade II* rollercoaster in Margate sitting within the world's first amusement park of its kind.  Its restoration is key to the development of this seaside town.

Dreamland lies in centre of Margate and was once the heart of the town's visitor appeal. It is the first fairground attraction in the UK to be listed and sits in a Conservation Area that includes a Grade II* listed cinema and Grade II listed menagerie cages - making up Margate's historic Pleasure Gardens. The cinema is a particularly fine example of an inter-war 'super cinema'.

The ride suffered terrible fire damage in 2008 and its dereliction is symbolic of much more profound economic and social decline of this well-known seaside town. Sustainably restoring this precious heritage would be a vital step in attracting new visitors.

We were by commissioned by the Margate Renewal Partnership to prepare a Scoping Report outlining a way forward for the site; we subsequently chaired the Steering Group, wrote a Conservation Report for all three structures and managed a team of consultants with relevant specialist knowledge to turn this site into the thriving visitor attraction that Margate needs.

This work led to successful Stage One pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund of nearly £3m; this was further supported by £3.7m on development funding from the Government's Sea Change initiative. Both these successes were based on the preliminary designs that we managed. In 2010, we were commissioned by Thanet District Council to prepare a Conservation Management Report for the entire site which was completed the following year.

This is a wonderful piece of British heritage and its refurbishment could be hugely important in restoring Margate's previous fortunes.