Dreamland confirms it’s coming out of administration - and hunting for a new CEO
PUBLISHED: 09:39 11 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:41 12 October 2017
Major boost for the Margate theme park after it faced uncertain future following a stuttering start
Margate’s Dreamland is coming out of administration after a successful summer saw more than half a million people visit the reimagined theme park.
There were fears over its survival after the park ran up debts of several million pounds and was unable to pay creditors when the park was put into the hands of administrators in August 2016.
But prior to its summer opening this year, it invested £25m into revamping the park and putting a key focus on events in a bid to turn it into a year-round venue.
A key success story has been hosting major music events - including a show by Gorillaz which sold out within minutes of going on sale.
Now Sands Heritage Limited, operator of the park, says it will exit administration at the end of October.
In its place will be what is known as a company voluntary arrangement which received unanimous support from creditors.
That will put in place a payment plan with those the park owes money to over a certain period of time. However, it often also means creditors accept less than they were owed as a consequence.
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.”
Chris Wells, Ukip 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.”