The Dreamland Trust has been awarded a UK government grant of £3.7million ($6.2m/€4.2m). Cited as the most important milestone in the six-year campaign to save Dreamland park in Margate, Kent, the grant secures the future of the Scenic Railway (pictured), Britain’s oldest surviving rollercoaster.
The Grade II-listed ride, built in 1920, will now be restored to its former glory and form the centrepiece of an amusement park comprised solely of historic rides. Many of these have been rescued from other parks across the UK, including the defunct Pleasureland in Southport, and many are the last surviving examples of their type.
“The Scenic Railway has not operated since 2006 and was badly damaged an arson attack last year,” notes Dreamland Trust chairman Nick Laister. “This grant should now secure the future of this remarkable structure and allow work to start on rebuilding it next year, along with all the other rides that we have rescued.”
The money was awarded to the Dreamland Trust by the Department for Culture Media and Sport as part of its Sea Change programme, which is designed to invigorate England’s seaside towns.