Page last updated at 15:16 GMT, Friday, 30 April 2010 16:16 UK

Pledge of 4m for Dreamland theme park in Margate

Dreamland's Scenic Railway
The heritage amusement park will be built round the Scenic Railway

A scheme to turn Margate's Dreamland into a theme park for historic fairground rides has received a pledge of up to £4m of council funding.

Thanet councillors agreed to put £2.2m of the council's own money into the project and to borrow up to £1.8m if other funding cannot be found.

They also agreed the council should take on the freehold of the Dreamland Cinema site as part of the scheme.

Work on the heritage amusement park is expected to begin late this year.

The centrepiece of plans for the regeneration of Dreamland is the Grade II listed Scenic Railway rollercoaster which was badly damaged in an arson attack in 2008.

Peppercorn rent

The ride, built in 1920, is the oldest surviving rollercoaster in the UK and will be rebuilt with the help of a £3.7m government grant.

Other vintage rides salvaged from Blackpool and Southport are already in storage ready to be rebuilt on Margate seafront.

It is hoped the attraction will open in the summer of 2012.

The land, currently owned by Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company, will be leased by the council to the Dreamland Trust at a peppercorn rent.

The council said the £2.2m was already provided for in its existing budget.

Applications for additional funding have been submitted to organisations including English Heritage and the Arts Council.

The land transfer and funding still have to go before the full council for final approval.

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