Seafront traders are hoping an eyecatching new artwork will attract more visitors.

Traders at the West Pier Arches shops in King’s Road, Brighton, have enlisted the help of an artist to paint a giant rainbow crossing on the empty white space outside the shops.

They are hoping the painting will attract more visitors.

Lois O’Hara, 23, a freelance artist from Brighton, said: “The work will be completed by the end of the week. I work with the owner of Bailey Contemporary Art and she contacted me about this idea.

“The aim is to get people’s attention and to give West Pier Arches shops more exposure.

“I hope the painting can help because the shops here are really lovely and people shouldn’t miss out on them.

“It’s been quite hard working in the hot weather but I guess that motivated me to work faster. I also wanted it to be finished before Pride Week.

“We want to thank the company Valspar for providing us the paint.”

Frederique Bailey, owner of Bailey Contemporary Art in the arches, said: “Rainbow crossings have become tourist attractions in Seattle and Vancouver. Brighton is the perfect place for a rainbow crossing. Because there was nothing on the white space it doesn’t encourage people to come down to this side of the pier.

“An artist once told me people don’t like to go near empty white spaces because it’s intimidating.

“We thought if we could fill up the space with something colourful it would entice people to come down, have a look and visit the shops.

“We took our concerns to the council and they approved our request in two weeks. They want to support independent shops.”

While it has not been confirmed if the rainbow crossing will stay for good, Ms Bailey said: “Basically we want to give West Pier Arches an identity. We will discuss with the council about installing more things such as deck chairs, parasols or a table tennis table.”

Mia Altwegg, owner of Mia Beach, said: “The problem we had was not getting the traffic we need. The council had spent a great deal of money installing the big white space outside.

“However it has attracted skateboarders. Most of them are fine but you do get a few troublemakers. Some people, especially visitors with young children, get put off.

“If people see some fun activities in that space it encourages them to come and see us.

“The council has not confirmed if there are plans for the painting to stay permanently but we will come up with more ideas on how to keep the space interesting, such as having a new artwork every three months.”

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokeswoman said: “The rainbow crossing came after discussion with traders from the West Pier Arches.  

“It’s a temporary installation designed to bring life to the space directly in front of their businesses, when events are not taking place, and encourage more people to explore the adjacent shops.”

Councillor Alan Robins, chairman of the council’s tourism, development and culture committee said: “The rainbow crossing is perfectly timed to coincide with the city’s Pride celebrations and will make a colourful addition to the beautiful West Pier plaza.

"There’s already a great range of typically Brighton boutiques and restaurants in the adjacent arches and this will give people even more incentive to come and discover the area.”