£3m Dreamland Debt

The Save Dreamland Campaign was launched by Joyland Books in January 2003 and is now supported by several thousand people. This is the place to discuss all aspects of saving Margate's famous amusement park and its iconic , Grade II listed Scenic Railway, Britain's oldest roller coaster.

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£3m Dreamland Debt

Postby porterm » 08 Dec 2015, 18:48

Hi all

I really hate to post this as I have always been very positive regarding this project, however I just saw this on the local Meridian News;
http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/2015-1 ... -3m-debts/

I've invested in a joint annual membership pass so really want to support this venture and see it prosper. Let's just hope this is a blip in the company's fortunes as I thought they were doing very well in appealing to the average punter/visitor. The park has certainly had a great energy and vitality about it in my opinion, and the staff are really enthusiastic from what I've encountered on my several visits this season. I think they've also had some great draws, such as their recent Screamland halloween event and the current "Frosted Fairground" Christmas event. I must make a visit again soon.

All new ventures must have their difficulties, with the Scenic's unfortunate delay on launch day, this undoubtedly didn't assist them greatly, however I think most visitors were never the less happy witht he park's overall atmosphere and presentation. Let's all continue to support the park and hopefully this will enhance its incomes.

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Re: £3m Dreamland Debt

Postby Cheryl » 10 Dec 2015, 08:47

Yes, I have just noticed this also. Sands are seeking a CVA from their Creditors, in order to avoid going into administration. If the latter does happen , does this mean Dreamland will close before its first anniversary?

I am totally saddened but not surprised, as I feel TDCs decision to give the operation of the park to a company that had no expertise in running theme parks, was very brave, or is there something we don't know? I think I had better leave it there ....
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Re: £3m Dreamland Debt

Postby aweber1us » 10 Dec 2015, 09:33

I think Sand have put a lot of Energy into the Park and made it very differnt to whats nomally on offer . There is no way they were ever going to cover their costs when they have only been able to work Dreamland for part of the season. All of this is fairly normal to be honest , in a part year of trading. I Guess we will have to wait for the Profit of doom to put his spin on it.
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Re: £3m Dreamland Debt

Postby porf » 11 Dec 2015, 18:14

A bit more detail from Cllr Targett. Ties in with my view that the issues lay with both TDC and with Sands

http://greentargett.com/2015/12/11/phoe ... d-burnout/

Also has a link to the full debt plan document. Page 50 onwards has a list of the creditors, there are a lot of people/companies that haven't been paid thought the year.
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Re: £3m Dreamland Debt

Postby Vince, Charlie and Sam » 11 Dec 2015, 19:49

Personally, I thought it was a big mistake to allow Dreamland to re-open while the Scenic Railway was so far away from becoming operational. However, you can't un-ring a bell and the important thing, to my mind anyway, is to ensure that Dreamland is open throughout the Summer season of 2016, so that potential visitor numbers, and trading figures can be assessed.

I wouldn't expect that many businesses show a profit in their first year of trading, and wouldn't expect Dreamland to be any different. Hopefully this is a storm which can be weathered.
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Re: £3m Dreamland Debt

Postby woody » 12 Dec 2015, 11:50

what rides have been sold to one of the directors? what have sands spent 8m on?(not including the debt)
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Re: £3m Dreamland Debt

Postby smilerbaker » 14 Dec 2015, 08:22

Well I think from that CVA document its quite clear its game over for sands, looks like they haven't paid anyone since they took over, no one in there right minds is going to be supplying them with anything unless they pay upfront.

Where the hell has all the money gone???? looking at the state of dreamland at the moment its really not clear to me.

Sands need to be given the boot ASAP and get someone in there who really does know what they are doing, someone with experience of running a funfair, stop all this retro 1950's BS fill the park with rides, you know, like a fun fair has. Get the concert hall open, get the cinema open and get some cash rolling in.
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Re: £3m Dreamland Debt

Postby Jim Douglas Jr. » 23 Dec 2015, 00:58

Some debt at first is to be expected. Hopefully the lottery people will come through with some additional funding.
I think once everything is open and events are regularly scheduled, things should be fine.
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Re: £3m Dreamland Debt

Postby porf » 23 Dec 2015, 15:59

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Re: £3m Dreamland Debt

Postby Bob » 23 Dec 2015, 18:05

Not at all surprised the Business plan was ill thought out and the opening a shambles, The only surprise is it went bust so quickly
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Re: £3m Dreamland Debt

Postby Bob » 23 Dec 2015, 18:08

Vince, Charlie and Sam wrote:Personally, I thought it was a big mistake to allow Dreamland to re-open while the Scenic Railway was so far away from becoming operational. However, you can't un-ring a bell and the important thing, to my mind anyway, is to ensure that Dreamland is open throughout the Summer season of 2016, so that potential visitor numbers, and trading figures can be assessed.

I wouldn't expect that many businesses show a profit in their first year of trading, and wouldn't expect Dreamland to be any different. Hopefully this is a storm which can be weathered.




That would be built into the business plan though although the business plan was a total mess. The whole strategy was wrong. The summer season is now only a few weeks and you are not going to get a viable business from that. A £300,000 loss a week is a disaster

Dreamland is unlikely to survive. Suppliers will now not extend credit to them and want cash up front as will sub contractors. They also have the winter with a lot of the costs still there and almost zero revenues
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Re: £3m Dreamland Debt

Postby Bob » 23 Dec 2015, 18:21

smilerbaker wrote:Well I think from that CVA document its quite clear its game over for sands, looks like they haven't paid anyone since they took over, no one in there right minds is going to be supplying them with anything unless they pay upfront.

Where the hell has all the money gone???? looking at the state of dreamland at the moment its really not clear to me.

Sands need to be given the boot ASAP and get someone in there who really does know what they are doing, someone with experience of running a funfair, stop all this retro 1950's BS fill the park with rides, you know, like a fun fair has. Get the concert hall open, get the cinema open and get some cash rolling in.



You are correct no one will now extend credit to hem and suppliers and sub contractors and even the utility companies will want cash upfront. They have racked up a £300,000 loss a week over he summer months and it will only get worse over the winter. There is in my view not a viable business there and it cannot be turned around. The Summer season in Margate is petty much the 6 weeks school holiday period and there is no way you can get a viable business from that

It appears as well that a number of rides are no longer the companies property these are as follows

Cyclone Twist
Apple Coaster
Giant Wave Swinger
Giant Wheel
Log Fume
Mano Cycle
Music Express
Jumping boats
Shoot Up Tower
Tea Cups with 6 large cups & Swing boats
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Re: £3m Dreamland Debt

Postby Vince, Charlie and Sam » 23 Dec 2015, 18:46

Bob wrote:
That would be built into the business plan though although the business plan was a total mess. The whole strategy was wrong. The summer season is now only a few weeks and you are not going to get a viable business from that. A £300,000 loss a week is a disaster

Dreamland is unlikely to survive. Suppliers will now not extend credit to them and want cash up front as will sub contractors. They also have the winter with a lot of the costs still there and almost zero revenues


While I do agree that much of the business strategy has been flawed, particularly the decision to open Dreamland towards the end of the season and without the flagship ride operating, I can't agree with your suggestion that this means that Dreamland is not financially viable. Visitor numbers to a town like Margate will inevitably be massively larger during the Summer than the Winter, and numerous seaside attractions around the country manage to thrive on trade done during "the season".

I appreciate that you have, and have always had, your own agenda on Dreamland, but like the rest of us I am afraid you are going to have to wait to see what 2016 brings before deciding whether Dreamland is destined to succeed or fail.

I know that you attract a certain amount of opprobrium on here, and if you were perfectly honest I am sure that you would admit to understanding the reason for that. However, if you do ever wish to take your "troll hat" off and debate Dreamland sensibly, then I would be more than happy to respond to your points in a like-minded manner, not as a member of the Dreamland management team, an "insider", but as a Thanet resident, a layman with an interest in heritage, an appreciation of the achievements made by preservation societies over the last 50 years, and a business owner myself.

Meanwhile, I will wish you, and everybody else on the forum a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
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Re: £3m Dreamland Debt

Postby Bob » 23 Dec 2015, 18:55

smilerbaker wrote:Well I think from that CVA document its quite clear its game over for sands, looks like they haven't paid anyone since they took over, no one in there right minds is going to be supplying them with anything unless they pay upfront.

Where the hell has all the money gone???? looking at the state of dreamland at the moment its really not clear to me.

Sands need to be given the boot ASAP and get someone in there who really does know what they are doing, someone with experience of running a funfair, stop all this retro 1950's BS fill the park with rides, you know, like a fun fair has. Get the concert hall open, get the cinema open and get some cash rolling in.


The projection in the CVA seem to be wildly optimistic and in my view unlikely to be meet . They also face the problem of suppliers will want to be paid up front in cash. They will not extend lines of credit to a company in a CVA. There revenue forecasts for this winter are also very optimistic and will more likely be close to zero in fact it would probably be better to close for the Winter
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Re: £3m Dreamland Debt

Postby Bob » 23 Dec 2015, 18:58

Vince, Charlie and Sam wrote:
Bob wrote:
That would be built into the business plan though although the business plan was a total mess. The whole strategy was wrong. The summer season is now only a few weeks and you are not going to get a viable business from that. A £300,000 loss a week is a disaster

Dreamland is unlikely to survive. Suppliers will now not extend credit to them and want cash up front as will sub contractors. They also have the winter with a lot of the costs still there and almost zero revenues


While I do agree that much of the business strategy has been flawed, particularly the decision to open Dreamland towards the end of the season and without the flagship ride operating, I can't agree with your suggestion that this means that Dreamland is not financially viable. Visitor numbers to a town like Margate will inevitably be massively larger during the Summer than the Winter, and numerous seaside attractions around the country manage to thrive on trade done during "the season".

I appreciate that you have, and have always had, your own agenda on Dreamland, but like the rest of us I am afraid you are going to have to wait to see what 2016 brings before deciding whether Dreamland is destined to succeed or fail.


I suggest you read the companies house fillings and the CVA. In my view in the current form Dreamland is a basket case. I cannot see them quadrupling the sales revenues which they need to reach break even
I know that you attract a certain amount of opprobrium on here, and if you were perfectly honest I am sure that you would admit to understanding the reason for that. However, if you do ever wish to take your "troll hat" off and debate Dreamland sensibly, then I would be more than happy to respond to your points in a like-minded manner, not as a member of the Dreamland management team, an "insider", but as a Thanet resident, a layman with an interest in heritage, an appreciation of the achievements made by preservation societies over the last 50 years, and a business owner myself.

Meanwhile, I will wish you, and everybody else on the forum a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
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