AN EMPTY shop in a struggling town centre has been given a new lease of life by a respected artist.

Claire Phillips, who has exhibited in leading galleries around the country, was asked to donate some of her work to brighten up a former volunteer bureau in High Street, Newhaven.

Keith Kinsbrook, who owns the property, got in touch after seeing her exhibition at Worthing Museum and Gallery.

He said: “A lot of people are coming along the street just to look at them.

It would be great to get more empty shops on boards and perhaps they will see this as a good example and do something themselves.”

Ms Phillips said: “This is the first time I have done anything like this and it was a very interesting project.

It is a real shame to see so many empty shops but art can really lift an area.”

Newhaven has been badly hit by the recession, with the closure of Woolworths having a knock-on effect.

For more details about the art idea, email