Tamarisk Centre transformation campaign raises £5,000 in one week

Felicity Jay, left, and Claire Jones, who run the community arts group CRE8, who want to create a community hub and arts cafe in the Tamarisk Centre. Picture: Kate Shemilt
Felicity Jay, left, and Claire Jones, who run the community arts group CRE8, who want to create a community hub and arts cafe in the Tamarisk Centre. Picture: Kate Shemilt

Thousands of pounds have been raised in the first week of a crowdfunding campaign to reopen a much-loved building in the town centre.

The not-for-profit group Creative Heart is on course to open a pioneering community hub and arts café in the former Tamarisk Centre building in Beach Road, Littlehampton, which closed at the end of 2016.

ks190411-4 Tamarisk Centre  phot kate'One of the downstairs rooms in need of renovation.ks190411-4 SUS-190907-212658008

ks190411-4 Tamarisk Centre phot kate'One of the downstairs rooms in need of renovation.ks190411-4 SUS-190907-212658008

And in the first week of launching the fundraising page, the group raised £5,000 of its £20,000 target.

Founders Felicity Jay and Claire Jones have tried to finalise rental agreements and building works over the last few weeks.

Claire said: “We have been blown away with support. It’s amazing to realise so many people share our passion for Littlehampton, and a desire to be a part of positive change. Creative Heart has given people a way to build their community up directly – hundreds of people have mobilised to bring us donations of decorating equipment, furniture and more, and are offering their time to us, too.

“A heartfelt thank-you to our lovely community for their support.”

Plans for the hub include a café serving local and affordable produce with a play area; a library and live music area for intergenerational events; a large multi-purpose room, office space and arts studios for hire; an accessible roof terrace and sensory garden; a training room for carers, including showers and hoists; a sensory room and a prayer room for use by chaplaincy.

Creative Heart has been approached by Pallant House for art studio space, Age UK, and art and theatre groups and businesses to get involved, it said.

The current total is more than £7,000, but another £13,000 is needed for ‘urgent repairs’, Claire said.

To donate, visit gofundme.com/creative-heart-cic-littlehampton.