Dreamland Margate has announced that it will not reopen this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The amusement park, which was meant to hold its 100th-anniversary celebrations in July, has decided not to reopen. After being closed for the Easter holidays as well, this will mean a huge loss of income, reports The Isle of Thanet News.
Staff made redundant
Most staff are currently furloughed, however the UK government’s furlough scheme likely to end in June. With the loss of income as a result of its closure, Dreamland Margate has, therefore, had to give 52 members of staff redundancy notices from 1 July.
CEO of Dreamland, Eddie Kemsley, said that “The struggles we are facing as a business – while heartbreaking for those closest to it – cannot compare to the devastation that families, health workers, emergencies services and patients around the world are facing, and our thoughts are with them.
At Dreamland, we are facing a situation no one could have possibly predicted. Just nine weeks ago, we were prepped to launch Dreamland’s best year ever, following a phenomenally successful 2019.”
Kemsley said that although Margate had contingency plans, “no attraction in the world could have prepared for the devastation of COVID-19.”
A drop in visitor numbers expected
As a seasonal attraction, Dreamland Margate is heavily reliant on maximising peak season visitors. Given the restrictions that are likely to be in place over the summer and beyond, the attraction “must prepare for a substantial drop in predicted visitor numbers and income for the remainder of the year.”
“The costs of running an amusement park with no guarantee of attendance coupled with the uncertain future of public gatherings represent a financial risk to Dreamland,” said Kemsley.
Margate will try to maintain an events programme over the summer where possible in line with the Government’s guidelines.
In her statement, Kemsley states that anyone with a Dreamland membership will be able to extend it to cover lost time.