An Oscar award-winning costume designer has unveiled plans for a children’s toy museum and puppet theatre on a disused farm in East Sussex.
John Bright is behind the proposals for the development in the village of Westfield, near Hastings.
Bright has worked in the theatre and costume businesses for more than 50 years, and over this time has amassed a collection of historic toys, many of which have been used as props in films. These will be exhibited in the museum.
The small-scale puppet theatre will host performances for children and will also double up as a space for workshops and educational courses.
Bright runs a foundation called the Children’s Art and Education Foundation, which plans to create arts and education opportunities for disadvantaged young people at the toy museum and puppet theatre, initially prioritising local schools.
The farm will also offer the opportunity for children to take part in nature trails through the woodland, picnicking in the fields and, for the less mobile, the chance to ride the trails on a toy train.
Children’s Art and Education Foundation manager, Chris Garlick, said: “Everybody is aware of the way educational services have been changing over the years. The arts have taken a bit of a back seat.
“So we feel that [we want to do] whatever we can to put the spotlight back on the arts and to give children the chance to experience things differently.”
The project, which is being funded by Bright, has been submitted for planning permission to Rother District Council.
If planning permission is granted, it is set to be completed in Spring 2020.