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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 June, 2003, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
Rollercoaster 'could be saved'
Scenic Railway, Dreamland
Campaigners say operators from Europe want to take over the park
Campaigners have claimed a theme park and its listed rollercoaster due to close later this year could still have a future.

Dreamland Leisure Park, in Margate, has been sold on to developers by owner Jimmy Godden for use as a retail and leisure complex and is set to shut in September.

The Save Dreamland Convention met on Sunday at the town's Theatre Royal to argue the case for preserving the park and its wooden Scenic Railway.

The ride, opened in 1920, is one of just nine in the world and was given Grade II status in 1991 after a recommendation from English Heritage.

'Parks are booming'

Nick Laister, founder of the Save Dreamland campaign group, said he believed Mr Godden was keen to close the park because he wanted to sell the site rather than because it was losing money.

"We don't think it has anything to do with the park's viability," Mr Laister said.

"We've got research that shows that amusement parks up and down England are booming.

"I think that is proved by the fact we've been approached by a number of park operators who want to take it over.

'Build on heritage'

"We've been talking to continental Europe's largest operator and they've been to Margate and seen the park and said they like what they saw.

"They want to change it beyond all recognition - they want to upgrade it but what they will do is build on its heritage and keep the Scenic Railway."

Barry Moss, who attended the convention as a representative of Mr Godden, declined to comment.

The park was bought by Yorkshire-based company Stadium Group in January.




SEE ALSO:
Seasonal reprieve for Dreamland
01 Apr 03  |  England
New owner for Dreamland
20 Jan 03  |  England


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