Dreamland operator Sands Heritage will come out of administration this month


Sands Heritage Limited, operator of Dreamland Margate, has announced that it will exit administration at the end of October and will be looking for a new CEO.

A ‘Company Voluntary Arrangement’, which will allow the company to come out of  administration and continue trading recently received unanimous support from creditors.

Last month it was revealed that a pot of £600,000 to pay debts to those owed money by Dreamland operator Sands Heritage Ltd had been agreed.

Photo Dean Spinks

Some £5.7 million was owed to unsecured creditors but around £2.4million of this was due to  Arrowgrass, which will not be paid from the pot. It means that unsecured and unconnected (holding no shares) creditors were expected to get 25p for every £1 owed

The CVA notice posted to Companies House says: “The arrangement will not be capable of successful completion until all unsecured, non-preferential creditors claiming in the arrangement have received a dividend from the minimum contribution of £600,000 paid by the third party.”

The development follows a summer that has welcomed some 500,000 visitors to the park since  it reopened on 26 May, after a £25million investment programme from offshore company Arrowgrass.

Dreamland was completely re-landscaped, its vintage rides restored and contemporary street food and eclectic bars were introduced.

New live entertainment spaces completed the revitalised Dreamland with the 15,000 capacity Demon Dayz festival, headlined by Gorillaz, selling out in under an hour.

Dreamland’s Sunset Sessions were held throughout the summer offering a combination of live music, renowned DJ’s and outdoor cinema. Plans for 2018 Sunset Sessions are already well underway and will run throughout the summer.

Steven Mitchell, Interim CEO at Dreamland, said: “The successful exit from administration is the perfect end to a hugely successful summer for Dreamland Margate. Our team has worked hard to deliver massive improvements in the range and quality of the park’s offering for half a million people but this is only the start. As we come out of administration, we can look forward with real confidence and excitement as we deliver more of the unique, colourful and unexpected experiences that our customers have come to know us for already this summer.

“We have very ambitious plans for 2018 and beyond, and to ensure we succeed, we are adding another 15 people to the team – adding to the positive effect we are having in the local economy. There is also a fantastic opportunity for a new CEO to join and continue to shape the strategy and lead the Dreamland team to deliver the best day out in the UK.”

Cllr Wells, Leader of Thanet District Council, said: “This is positive news and all part of the ongoing success of Dreamland. The park has successfully increased tourism, played a pivotal role in revitalising the local economy and boosted the wider regeneration of Margate.”

Sands Heritage went into administration in May 2016 – just under a year after the company reopened Dreamland amusement park.

The company suffered financial difficulty at the end of 2015 when it entered a voluntary debt plan after being hit with a net loss of £5 million and owing bills of £2,893,128.

In May 2016 Benjamin Wiles and Paul Williams, Managing Directors of Duff & Phelps, were appointed Joint Administrators of Sands Heritage Ltd, trading as Dreamland.

Photo Dean Spinks

Last September it emerged that Sands Heritage Ltd owed an estimated £8.34 million to a list of creditors, including many small local businesses, and had a total deficit of some £14 million.

Duff & Phelps had aimed to market the business and sell the assets by March this year but that time was extended twice.

A report published by Duff & Phelps on Companies House also revealed that offshore firm Arrowgrass now owns 98.8% of the shares and is in the process of buying the remaining 1.1%.


1 Comment

  1. Congratulations Sands Heritage. A fantastic achievement with no thanks The Thanet District Council and some of its employee’s.

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