An artist has launched a crowdfunding campaign with the hope of opening up an empty lodge as a community art space.
Iain Macpherson rents one of two lodges at the entrance to Amelia Park in Worthing and wants to use the other as an exhibition space.
Owned by Worthing Borough Council, the lodge is about 8ft square and has not been used for at least 20 years. Unlike Mr Macpherson’s home, it has not been extended and has no electricity.
Mr Macpherson said: “As a sculptor and installation artist, it pains me to see this wasted space. Worthing and Adur councils have agreed to lease the space to me, provided I pay for legal fees to change its usage, estimated at £1,000 because it is a Grade II* listed building.
“My background is as a fine artist for over 30 years, recently teaching sculpture at University of Brighton. I know I can do something better with this space for the local community, certainly better than it is now, not only with my own work but with local students and some high profile guests.”
Mr Macpherson, who has lived in Park Crescent for five years, has been in talks with the planning department for some time and says he has been told he can rent the lodge at a peppercorn rate.
He added: “All they wanted was the legal fees to change its use. It is just a space, it is not going to be an art gallery. It could be filled with interesting things for people to see as they walk by.”
He has also spoken to Worthing West MP Peter Bottomley about his plans and says he has his support.
Mr Macpherson added: “I have spoken to most of the neighbours and they agree it is a nice idea. We just need some support to get it started.
“All I would like is the key and then I can start thinking about exactly what to do with it. For instance, I could run an open-air art session in the park for ten people and put the results in there.
“The area is perfect to set up a sculpture park, too. Then I could actually put my talent and experience to work.”
The Worthing Amelia Park Gallery campaign seeks £2,000 to set the ball rolling.
Visit www.gofundme.com/worthing-amelia-park-gallery for more information.