Dreamland catering trailers and play equipment among 171 park items up for auction

Some of the Dreamland items that are up for auction

Catering trailers, an ice cream van, fryers, microwaves, lawnmowers and a chainsaw are among the 171 lots being sold by Dreamland through NCM auctions.

The lots are listed as for sale due to Dreamland’s “consolidation of assets.”

Other items available for online bidding include a Mary Rose Play Boat Climbing Frame – buyer to dismantle – and children’s soft play equipment. There are also chairs, freezers, a mini stage, lighting cases and equipment such as popcorn makers.

The bidding for items is open until 1pm on March 31.

The catering vehicles include airstream trailers, catering vans and converted horseboxes.

Find the auction website here

The latest auction of goods follows the sale of several of the park’s rides. In January Dreamland’s Pendulum thrillseeker ride was transported to its new home in Great Yarmouth’s Pleasure Beach site. According to Pleasure Beach bosses the Pendulum was one of six rides that were up for sale.

Rides made by Zamperla and installed at the Margate amusement park in 2018 were also advertised on specialist website Interlink.

The Dreamcatcher ride at Dreamland

Among the rides was the Endeavour – named Dreamcatcher following a public competition in 2018- which had more than 2,900 entries.  Also listed as available was the Zamperla Jumping Star.

Other rides sold are understood to be the Air Race, Up Up and Away and Soaring Seagulls, Previously confirmed as sold last year was the Zamperla Twister Coaster (Pinball X)  which was relocated to Flamingo Park in Hastings.

Park bosses have previously said that rides including the Scenic Railway will return to operation as usual this year.

By Paul Webb

In December a Dreamland spokesperson said: “Through the winter months we are carrying out essential maintenance works across the park and reviewing our ride line up for our reopening in 2022.

“Some rides are leaving and some will be coming, but we are not in a position just yet to announce what visitors can expect.  We will be confirming our full line up in the new year.”

The Dreamland website states under a heading ‘Amusement park rides to re-open in 2022’

The Scenic Railway, Hurricane Jets, Cyclone Twist and Betty’s Beehive Coaster are among rides shown below the statement. (UPDATE) An opening date of Sunday 29th May has just been announced.

A packed programme of music events is booked for the season and includes gigs with Paul Weller, Simply Red,  All Saints, Craig Davis and The Beach Boys.


Recruitment fairs – usually held in February and March prior to covid – have not as yet been held this year.

The amusement park made  52 members of staff redundant in 2020 due to the pandemic. In 2019 the park had an average of 220 site staff, 39 admin and 3 directors.

Photo Frank Leppard

Part of the Dreamland site is currently being used by production crews for Sam Mendes film Empire of Light. This includes Dreamland Cinema and the area known as Godden’s Gap which will be the site of a 124 bed hotel.

A £4million allocation from the £22.2 million Margate Town Deal fund for Dreamland will be used towards the renovation and reopening of the cinema building which has been empty for more than a decade.

The site will be turned into an entertainment and conference centre with space allocated to community use and charities.

The allocation has caused controversy with some questioning why the privately owned business is receiving public funds. The Dreamland estate was sold by Thanet council to park operator Sands Heritage Ltd in 2020 for £7million – £2.3 million for the Dreamland estate and £4.7million to buy the car park area.

The estate was also the recipient of some £19.4 million public funding from the Department for Culture Media and Sport’s Sea Change programme, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Thanet District council prior to its first reopening in 2015 and further funding towards work at the cinema building and Sunshine Cafe by now collapsed firm Coombs.

Significant funding then came from offshore Arrowgrass Capital Partners but in 2019 it was announced  the hedge fund would be shutting down with arrangements made for the sell-off of Arrowgrass investments and outstanding loans.

Arrowgrass bought out Dreamland shares to bring the park out of administration in 2017. 

Photo Carl Hudson

Documents submitted to Companies House by Sands Heritage for accounts up to December 2020 say: ““Following the announcement by Arrowgrass Master Fund Limited (the ultimate controlling party) of its intention to instigate an orderly close of its fund operations, the board of Margate Estates Limited (the immediate parent company of Sands Heritage Limited) appointed an agent in March 2021 to manage the sale process for Margate Estates Limited and its subsidiary companies.”

The real estate and leisure company which owns Dreamland was put on the market, being offered for ‘acquisition’ through property specialists Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL).

It means the entire Dreamland estate, including the Dreamland car park purchased from TDC, parcels of land surrounding the site inclusive of the plot secured for a new 124-bed hotel, and the option to purchase Arlington House, multi-storey and land, was being offered as assets of the company.

The brochure issued by JLL last year said: ““The subject sites provide a once in a lifetime opportunity to be involved with a catalytic resort regeneration scheme in one of Kent’s most treasured locations and to develop and grow the creative movement that currently thrives in Margate.”

Dreamland has been asked for a statement regarding the auction, which rides will be open this year and whether there will be staff recruitment.

Head of Operations, Shane Guy said: “We are investing in our facilities in preparation for opening this Spring, including the provision of food and drink. We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone back to Dreamland.”

The park reopens on May 29.

Sale of Dreamland owning company means entire assets – park estate, hotel plot, car park, land – and option on Arlington on market


    • It certainly looks that way.

      This has all the signs of an ‘Administrator’s Sale’ prior to winding up the company.

      Interestingly, the ‘Option to Purchase’ the Arlington lease expires next month and there is no record of it being renewed.

      There may be a handful of big name concerts booked for the remainder of the year and plans to re-open the park so it makes no sense to be selling off the catering equipment . . .

    • They can’t-the BLM matter group were moved in there by Kemsley & it would be racist to make them homeless.

      • What on Earth are you on about now? What has the civil rights of those of a different skin colour got to do with it??? And why does it offend you anyway?!?!?

  1. The way ordinary people make money and the way big business makes money are just so completely different. I’m way too financially naive to make a confident comparison, but at first sight the ‘ordinary people’ version of this would be something like falsely claiming £10,000 in benefits, investing it in something and then selling the investment at a huge profit. And being lauded for the business acumen displayed as opposed to being prosecuted.
    I hate all this so much. We should indeed be angry.

    • TDC incompetence is the root of the issues, too keen to make it look as though all was rosy with Dreamland they rolled over far too often. The moment they extended tha original lease from 25 to 100 years , the writing was on the wall. Selling the freehold and carpark etc was just another desperate measure. The operators now owners have been chuckling to themselves all the way through this.
      Either the development clause will get withdrawn of the park will be landbamked in some form. The closure of the Theatre Royal and Wintergardens leavesmthe door wide open for the cinema and hall by the sea etc to be developed into replacements for TR and WG facilities, effectively shutting WG permanently and making the TR marginally useful if the council can renovate and improve it.
      If it all hadn’t been so blatantly obvious you might have tried to make an excuse. The whole station end of margate seafront now in the hands of a faceless entity and no doubt tdc will roll over again to ostensibly limit the damage/fallout.
      Just remains to be seen if there is any legal/financial liability to be settled in respect of the original CPO, if there is it’ll be yet more salt in the wound.

    • Hardly, the 4 million was from central government and to be handed out to projects that applied. The Granville belongs to the council and its taxpayers and it’s not refused to give it to the community but to a company wanting a freebie.

      • Lc, is that a company? As far as I know Kent Film Foundation is a registered charity, with a history of helping disadvantaged children find their way in life. Jan Dunn, who runs it, does not drive in a Mercedes. In addition, the ‘freebie’ comes with the need to raise an enormous amount of money to refurbish the building and turn it into a sustainable enterprise so that the community can have an Arts Centre and a cinema, the only in Ramsgate. Hardly a freebie isn’t? And it would be nice for the kids of Ramsgate to have a place to go to, for the oldies in Ramsgate to have a cinema and a theatre, without having to go to Westwood Cross or Canterbury. Perhaps you’re living in Margate where many facilities already exist.
        But it doesn’t seem to me that you have quite read what the Kent Film Foundation proposal is about.
        I’m fully aware that the £millions going to Dreamland come from a fund for which the Granville Cinema does not qualify. But there always seems to be an excuse for Ramsgate not getting the money.

          • … and in any case I’m not criticising the Dreamland Cinema being re-vamped apart from the fact that it was already given quite a bit money not so long ago for the same purpose… and the fact that the money disappears and Ramsgate doesn’t see any.

        • Who cares what cars the staff of a company drive? KFF were unable to show they had the financial assets/ wherewithal to take on the Granville and follow through on the vision they presented, instead much was made of including schoolkids in choosing a new name, all very well but a new shiny name won’t fix the roof, repair the wiring or redecorate. Instead there would it seems have been commercial activities to support the enterprise. I don’t believe a word of it and it’d likely end up as a grand version of newgate gap shelter( handed over to an excon with 2 convictions for fraud and one for involvement in stolen art, this paper talked of the art conviction but conveniently ignored the fraud) and sit rotting whilst the ownership of the building was used as a sort of collateral for funding.
          My view is that there should be proof of funding before any such handover takes place at the very least , though my preferred route would be the disposal of the building on the open market, KFF can then bid for it like anyone else, and under community asset rules have plenty of time to raise the money.
          It’s tiresome hearing about the lack of a ramsgate cinema , if the old one had been used it’d still be there. But many, myself included when i lived in ramsgate, choose to use Vue or Westgate. Everyone whines about things when they are gone but forgets its all too often lack of support when they were still open that helped their demise.
          Thanet is throwing way too much in the egg basket of the creative arts , its time for a bit of balance.

          • Can you show evidence of your comments? Have you seen KFF business plan? Oh wait, I forgot, the business plan is not a public document. So your statement is totally unfounded and just hearsay.

  2. We all saw it coming and spoke out countless times how this will end up but the powers at TDC just blindly continued onwards handing over the Freehold to nameless people, then made sure they included ££ millions of Margate Town deal money to this lot to improve the cinema building which had already been done up a few years previously at great expense. Maybe there were some nice golden handshakes going on but there are too many different offshore subsidiaries and holding companies involved here to lose track on. It will take someone with great determination to follow what has exactly happened here. Reminds me of another similar entity up the road at Manston! All Thanet’s assets are steadily being stripped bare under the nose and approval of TDC.

  3. One might ask why they have been given so much money-another four million voted for by Kemsley & her board not that long ago, for a site that is clearly having a closing down fire sale of goods & exactly where that money has gone.

    Suppose this is the problem with a mountain of debt & being owned by a hedge fund in a tax haven-they call all the shots. Remember when it all went tits up not that long after it reopened & Kemsley who couldn’t shut up about it since the day it opened was suddenly nowhere to be found, as they wheeled somebody else on to spin & then she had gone off to work for Kidzania, before her ‘triumphant’ return?

  4. This seems very dodgy. Surely those trucks are still financially viable and needed for summer events?!?!?!? Especially the concert series?!?

    Bit like the airport it seems impossible to get someone sensible to run it. The difference is Dreamland could actually have a positive impact on Thanet I guess. Hundreds of jobs and more money for local business.

    Looks like all they are interested in is gigs now if they are selling off rides.

  5. Again we must ask. Is there no redress, after millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money was pledged to Dreamland on the unequivocal understanding that it would be a heritage theme park?
    And why do we hear nothing from the Dreamland Trust?

  6. The total degeneration of Thanet in general.
    Margate, a seaside town with a mainline station on the seafront. Miles of lovely coastline, yet the council can still not get their act together to provide facilities to attract visitors! The sea front should be pedestrianised, and provide cafes with outside and inside space. The amusement arcades are fine, and in keeping with what people expect. Dreamland should make it’s mind up what it wants to be, fun park or entertainment venue. The clear aim is for it to be sold off for housing which will totally decimate the attraction of coming to the seafront. Who wants to walk around a huge housing estate?
    The whole Council should receive a huge shake up and think about the future of the town, and while they’re about it do something about all the free cliff top parking along the Thanet coast! It’s one of the only places I have visited where you can have a free camper holiday with a sea view!! Wasted revenue!!!

    • How exactly would they pedestrianise the seafront? The only way as far as I can tell (which I would wholeheartedly support) is demolishing Arlington House and then putting a road through Dreamland.

      • Someone’s dislike of a building’s external appearance is fortunately not a good reason for demolishing it, especially when it contains a lot of lived-in flats.

        And people who visit the seaside usually cope quite well with the realization that a seaside town contains housing as well as a beach.

    • If as your moniker suggests you are local born and bred, you’ll remember the chaos when the seafront was shut due to the fire. Given the increased number of vehicles since then, how would you deal with traffic management to enable the pedestrianisation to go ahead without gridlocking the rest of thanet?

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