Resort arts group moves to new base at Dreamland

Dreamland Photo Frank Leppard

Cliftonville arts organisation Resort has relocated to Dreamland amusement park.

The studios for more than 25 creatives, specialist printmaking facilities and an exhibition space were previously based in the historic Pettman’s building in Athelstan Road.

Since being founded in January 2013 by a small group of local artists, Resort has grown into a key East Kent arts organisation, supporting hundreds of creative people and community groups with affordable workspace, workshops, professional development, residencies, exhibitions, and events.

But in 2018 the Pettman building was put up for sale. This was followed by a lengthy period of legal negotiations, which was funded with £10,000 raised from a successful crowdfunding campaign. Resort attempted to list the building as an asset of community value to shore up their case, but this was rejected by Thanet council.

Members of RESORT launched a fundraiser

Eventually an agreement was reached which enabled the organisation to pay for the relocation to Dreamland.

Dreamland CEO Eddie Kemsley (pictured below) said: “Just as we have provided Margate CIC People Dem Collective with their own office space and as part of our continued support for the Margate community, we are pleased to extend a big welcome to the Dreamland family to Resort. We believe the space will provide the creative inspiration Resort seeks to offer its members. We hope this new partnership will encourage experimentation and collaboration and be of tangible benefit to the creative community in Margate.”

Dan Chilcott, from Resort, added: “We are delighted to be working closely with such an iconic organisation and it will enable our members and our programming to reach a new public audience. We will continue to build on our relationships with Margate residents and local organisations we have worked with in the past, while forging new partnerships as we move forward.

“This move to Dreamland represents the next step towards finding a permanent home for Resort and cementing its place at the heart of Margate’s creative scene.

“Resort has always supported artists, designers and makers to take creative risks – it’s built into our DNA. Margate’s creative ecology is built on dynamic practitioners, small business owners and the leadership and ambition shown by locally rooted communities and organisations.

“Whilst there is sadness at leaving the space where we were founded, we are also excited about our future at Dreamland and we can now fully focus again on delivering for our members and the wider creative community here in Margate. We were overwhelmed at the support for our 2019 Crowdfunder which enabled us to pay legal fees during months of uncertainty and negotiations over our lease.

“This partnership with Dreamland is a wonderful opportunity. It offers creative potential – to learn from and be inspired by an iconic venue with 100-year history at the heart of seaside popular culture.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone to our new space and want to thank everyone who’s been a part of securing Resort’s future.”

Mike Hill, County Council Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, said: the county authority will be working with Resort’s board, Thanet District Council and Creative Estuary to secure Resort a long-term home.