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.


  1. Such a shame. Once again this takes something away from the ever-decaying Cliftonville in favour of central Margate.

  2. Why is Dreamland being slowly turned into yet another large scale Art project?. It is and should remain an Amusement Park. The funding has been supplied for this, and yet it is already slipping away into a concert venue with rides being removed to make room. Its about time all this endless money being injected into it on false pretences, is questioned, I have tried, and oviously my emails go ignored. There are barely any functioning rides in there now anyway, and the amount of expertise in running such an amusement park is nil, hence why it is taking a back seat. Where have all the rides gone, that were restored by littleboys at vast expense. This was grant funding, not money that Dreamland supplied. Concerts have found to be easy money, so that is what is pushed, despite the fact there is a perfectly adequate, though underfunded Winter Gardens not too far away. Why is TDC letting this happen, when clauses were written into the site sale agreement. It is supposed to be a heritage amusement park, NOT a concert venue, or an Art installation, or home to art projects, there are plenty of other places for this. Art has a place, but it should not be dominating and to the exclusion of everything else.

    • Money. Kemsley recently awarded Dreamland 4 million quid via the board she sits on & KCC, arts councils, lottery funding etc cannot wait to throw money at anything they call art & cultural enrichment these days for clout/virtue signalling-why she has moved the BLM lot into there.

      Councils love the clout it gives them pretending to be Brighton, Paris or the Tate. Ultimately it is owned by a Cayman Islands, tax haven,hedge fund-who could get rid of it all when they please.

    • Perfect assessment, Sean.
      It’s happening in front of our eyes, so why isn’t it challenged? Why aren’t questions being asked by the funders who poured millions into Dreamland, on the promise that it would be a wonderful heritage amusement park?
      What is the Dreamland Trust’s view, or has it, too, capitulated to the seemingly-unstoppable arts lobby?
      So much cause for concern – even without the recent mind-boggling £4 million award to the owners.
      And then we see a comment from Mike Hill, arch promoter of the KCC throwing our money at the Turner Gallery….
      There is no hope!

  3. It is really nice that Result Arts Have found a new home at Dreamland. I wonder if they could find a space for MiFoodbank, who I think are still homeless. Or maybe they are not right type of people for Dreamland?

  4. why dont they move all these ” arts projects ” out to the goodwin sands theres plenty of room out there

  5. Dreamland has received vast amounts of public funding to provide a vintage and amusement park and show ground, so yes it is unacceptable that vintage rides are mothballed. Dreamland was not resurrected to become a music venue. No consideration is given to the residents who live locally who are plagued by the noise from those music events on a regular basis , breaching noise regulations despite complaints , their life is blighted when these music events take place. I am all in favour of arts facilities and local venues but again this is really not a function of Dreamland.
    Remember TDC have effectively handed over all these public assets to an offshore hedge fund who continue to receive public funding , effectively subsidies to prop up a failing and in my view a failed project.
    On walking past the iconic listed cinema at night what is evident is the failing illumination of some of the signage . Despite having received millions of pounds of public funding this building is still in effect derelict and in effect unusable , this lighting situation has persisted for more than three months.
    Like others I would be interested to hear the views of the Dreamland trust on the current situation of the theme park.

  6. I live on Belgrave Road and have never had a problem with the concerts, sometimes they are good as i just sit in my garden and listen to the music

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