A CROWDFUNDING campaign was launched yesterday for the restoration of Madeira Terraces, with an aim to raise £400,000 from residents and businesses.

The kick off for the campaign was held on Brighton Palace Pier and was headed by Brighton and Hove City Council leader Warren Morgan.

Crowdfunding company Spacehive is helping organise the crowdfunding initiative.

The crowdfunding campaign is part of a four-point plan to save Madeira Terrace and this initial phase aims to raise funds to restore a small section of the arches.

Cllr Morgan said: “Madeira Terrace is a vital part of our city’s economy, the seafront and heritage, it has been the backdrop to so many events.”

The campaign is not just about raising money, it is also about gaining and demonstrating public support for the project.

Cllr Morgan said: “It will be a show of affection and intention of backing for getting the terraces restored, not just for aesthetic reasons but to serve a purpose.”

In the autumn the council will go to the Heritage Lottery Fund to ask for a funding bid of £4 million and will need to demonstrate there is strong public support.

Niraj Dattani, from Spacehive, said: “We’ve seen campaigns of this size before but what we haven’t seen is the city get behind it in a way that we’ve seen today.”

The campaign received 50 pledges within the first hour of going live.

Mr Dattani said: “We haven’t even gone big with the media yet so I feel like we’ve got something special here.”

Cllr Morgan said that the plan if the regeneration appeal is successful is to occupy the buildings of the terraces with cafes, bars and artist’s studios.

A limit on the campaign has been set as November by Spacehive.

If the target is not reached in that time then the campaign will receive none of the money raised.

The council failed in a bid earlier in the year to gain funding for the project from the Coastal Communities Fund and will be hoping there isn’t a repeat of that failure.

Cllr Morgan said: “We hoped to get the support of the government’s Coastal Communities Fund and we are very disappointed they didn’t come forward on that.”

He previously said he was “bitterly disappointed” and criticised the Government for failing the city.

At the time he said: “We have not even been given the courtesy of an email to let us know. I am bitterly disappointed and angry with the Government. They are failing to invest even a modest amount in our seafront heritage and tourism.”