A new government report has praised Dreamland Margate for its role in the successful regeneration of the seaside town – but the next steps are to turn coastal communities into year-round destinations, says the attraction.
Dreamland was one of several locations visited by the House of Lords Select Committee on Regenerating Seaside Towns for their report on The Future of Seaside Towns, released today (Thurs 4th April).
Margate was held up as a positive example of coastal regeneration, with Dreamland singled out as one of the most notable examples of success.
Referring to the success of both Dreamland Margate and Turner Contemporary, the report stated: “The emerging arts and cultural scene is having a significant impact on sustaining these two assets in the town and will continue to drive (new) audiences. This follows a long-term strategy for creative and cultural-led regeneration in Margate.”
Dreamland’s new season starts on Saturday 6th April, and the park announced earlier this year that it will be free to enter for Easter. Thanet’s visitor economy has grown 9.2% since 2015 to a value of £319million, with an extra 4.2million visitors in 2017.
CEO Eddie Kemsley welcomed the findings of the report: “Margate remains a benchmark for other seaside towns in terms of what collaborative, arts and leisure-led regeneration can achieve, and we are extremely proud to be part of the story. We welcome this report and the acknowledgement of Dreamland Margate’s impact on the district’s growth and success.
“There is still work to be done and there is a lot of pressure facing local authorities. The onus is on private sector partners like us to forge partnerships and work with the public sector, local businesses and the education sector to ensure our town has a year-round offer for both visitors and residents.
“Seaside towns cannot focus only on the summer peaks – there must be a year-round offer. This is the goal for Dreamland, as we work towards a full 12month offer with numerous events planned throughout the year plus our award-winning Halloween event, Screamland, and a brand new Christmas event planned for 2019.
“We’ve also just hired 200 seasonal staff to support our summer season and with our increased events offer, we hope to keep providing more job opportunities throughout the year.
“In Margate, it is important that we regenerate not gentrify. We must also include tertiary education in conversations and initiatives, so the next generation feel invested in their town’s future – and feel they have a place in it.”