The Dreamland project in Margate has today (Wednesday 28 October) been awarded a £1.89 million grant from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund to bring back into use the iconic Art Deco Cinema complex, which forms a critical part of the overall site.
The grant will fund capital works including restoration of the sites frontage and the required infrastructure to support the creation of a restaurant in the former Sunshine Cafe. A restaurant in the Grade II* listed building will be a centrepiece of the reopening and regeneration of a seaside landmark in Margate; Dreamland.
The refurbishment includes bringing the external front façade and original building façade back to its 1930’s glory allowing the advertising stall to be reinstated together with the iconic signage to the ‘fin'. Including restoration of the seafront elevation windows, reinstating the windows on the Western Flank and reinstatement of the original lighting scheme to the front and side elevation to bring the building’s vision back to complement the grade II* listed status.
The scheme will also re-engage the link between the former ‘Sunshine Café’ with the main complex as the building was designed, enabling full integration across the cinema complex.
Other works include providing the required utility services to the building; fit out as 'shell and core' incorporating customer washrooms, staff welfare/training facilities and kitchen area in the restaurant.
Thanet District Council applied for this funding to help fund the infrastructure requirements to bring this site forward, in order that an operator is found to develop the rest of the Cinema complex site. This will enable long-term use of not just the restaurant but the whole of the cinema complex and will improve accessibility.
Leader of Thanet District Council Cllr Iris Johnston said, “Officers have worked extremely hard for years to secure this funding and I am delighted that our application has been successful. This significant grant will enable the council to prime the cinema area ready for external investment and ensure that the frontage of the site is restored to its former glory.”
Coastal Communities Minister Penny Mordaunt said: “Revitalising our seaside towns to be vibrant economies year-round is part of the government’s long-term economic plan.
“The project to restore the derelict Art Deco Cinema site and build a new restaurant in Margate will bring new business opportunities that create local jobs, boost the local economy and attract visitors to the area.
“Our multi-million pound Coastal Communities Fund is helping over 100 innovative projects across the country fulfil their potential, stimulate the local economy and supporting over 10,000 jobs and almost 4,000 training places for young people.”
The ambition is that jobs will be created for local people including opportunities for apprenticeships to be delivered across the site, through negotiations with an operator to take this forward. It is envisaged that the Dreamland site as a whole will create 171 jobs and attract new visitors to the area, supporting local businesses.
Acting Chief Executive of Thanet District Council Madeline Homer with Leader of the Council Cllr Iris Johnston and Economic Development Manager Louise Askew who was heavily involved with the successful bid.