Dan given major award

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Artist Dan Thompson has been crowned the Unsung Coastal Hero in the Coast Awards 2011, in association with Joules.

The award was given in recognition of his work to use the arts to support regeneration in his hometown of Worthing, and for his wider work to bring empty shops across the country back into use.

Dan has worked in the arts since the age of 13, when he joined a community arts project at the Connaught Theatre. He is a founder of Rainbow Shakespeare, whose inaugural production was Twelfth Night on Worthing Beach. He was also involved in Shoreham’s Beach Dreams Festival for many years. Since 2000, he has run Revolutionary Arts, which has founded trails of open houses and studios in Horsham and Worthing, as well as pioneering the use of empty shops for arts projects.

The annual Coast Awards celebrate the people and places that represent all that is innovative, valuable and exciting around the British coastline.

TV presenter Michaela Strachan awarded the winners and runners-up their prizes at the Coast Awards 2011 ceremony, which was held yesterday at the Country Living Fair in London.