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Dreamland Loses £3.3 million. New Owners Reject Amusement Park For Year Round Live Events


Credit Stephan Costen

Just published on the Companies House website Dreamland’s annual accounts up to 31 December 2022 record losses of £3,379,727 an increase of 94% on the previous financial year when losses were a mere   £1,738,282!!


Despite this poor performance Dreamland’s new owners, tax dodging , Delaware registered, Live Nation Entertainment  Inc (LN),  which is said to be the world’s largest live entertainment company,  will be investing millions in Dreamland to  turn these massive  losses into equally massive profits to be passed on to its already  mega rich owners and investors.


According to the Directors report to reduce losses the business has disposed of its surplus fun fair rides and: -


developed an outsourced operating strategy, working with respected partners to drive forwards standards and experience in terms of its rides and food and beverage offerings. This strategy has also enabled the Company to reduce its ongoing overhead costs to a sustainable level


In other words LN regards Dreamland’s past performance as an amusement park operator to have been an unmitigated business failure which must be quickly ended  by outsourcing and ultimately eliminating altogether the unprofitable  rides and attractions, including the iconic Scenic Railway.


LN sees the profitability of Dreamland as being in a huge expansion and development of  live music events at the site This will almost certainly include holding many more events than at present and significantly increasing the capacity of its outdoor concert space to at least 20,000 if not more. The company Directors report ethusiastically says about that: -


The Live Events business continued to go from strength to strength, with investment in the outdoor events space helping to support an increase in capacity and improve the guest journey and overall experience --and that-- Live music events, particularly outdoor shows at the iconic Scenic Stage arena, continue to drive both the reputation and financial performance of the business.


But it’s not just the hosting of more outdoor events with larger audiences  during the summer which is the focus of LNs wealth creation plans,   but the development of year round indoor live music events which are non-weather dependent for their  success.


This is  clearly referenced  in the Director’s report which says that Dreamland  will be seeking “ scope and opportunity to deliver compelling live music events across the venue and that  “Sell out shows during the year with renowned acts including Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, Rudimental, Simply Red and Craig David further demonstrated the credibility of Dreamland as a multi space event venue which can be successfully delivered throughout the year.


Dreamland has plenty of space achieve this aim.  It’s landholdings already include the freehold of the large car park at the rear of the site some or all of which could easily be used to create more event space.  


Dreamland also has an option, recorded with Land Registry, to purchase the leashold of the Arlington House site from the current freeholder TDC. This includes the tower block itself, the multi storey car park, and the shopping arcade.


Bearing in mind the financial difficulties faced by the Council and the Government's recent declaration that local authorties should sell off their assets to reslove and budgest problems, it is very lilkely that TDC may revise the Arlington leasehold option to a freehold option.


If such an offer is made by the council and taken up by Dreamland's new owners, which I belive to be likley, then it could lead to the demoltion and clearance of this large site, including Arlington House, and use the land to greatley expand its live events capacity.

It wouldn’t surprise me to hear that the three blocks of flats which are also adjacent to the Dreamland site, and which Southern Homes declared last year, that it intends to demolish for safety reasons, might soon be added to LNs property portfolio to support its planned capacity expansion at Dreamland.

 

Interestingly, just last week, LN surprisingly rejected the council’s offer of a  £4million grant to  develop the  Dreamland cinema. This can only mean that LN wants total  freedom to use the historic cinema building for its own purpose without any TDC interference. Presumably this means turning the cinema  into a venue for live events throughout the year.


Last but not least speculation is rife that LN  may also be considering  taking ownership  of the mothballed Winter Gardens  and perhaps even the Lido.


Make no mistake, just as the tax dodging Mafia owned and made millions from the Los Vegas strip, tax dodging LN might also end up owning  and making millions from  Margate’s seafront.


But will any of this hoped for wealth find its way into the local economy and create business opportunties and decent jobs for local people? Will any of this wealth contribute, through the payment of corporate taxes, to funding the NHS, Education, Social Care etc? I don't think so?


The lions share of any profits generated by LNs Dreamland operation will find its way to Delaware where it will make rich folk richer still, whilst the poor of Thanet remain poor and exploited.


And don't forget this, Dreamland was acquired, refurbished, and reopened by public funding in the order of £25million, if not more. It now turns out that this public investment has now become a state subisdy for tax dodging LN and tax dodging Arrowgrass before that.


Call Out If you have any information about Dreamland and/ or Live Nation which you think should be exposed please contact me on 07866588766 or email ianddriver@yahoo.co.uk






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