A crowdfunding campaign has started to save the Madeira Terraces lining Brighton seafront between the Palace Pier and the Marina.
Brighton and Hove City Council aims to raise £432,000 in four months after putting in £100,000 itself to get the ball rolling.
The aim is not only to raise money but to show public support for the restoration project before applying for £4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
A similar application to the Coastal Communities Fund was turned down earlier this year in part because no match funding was in place.
Council leader Warren Morgan said: “Being able to demonstrate real public commitment and support for the project will help us win funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund in the autumn.
“The council has cleared litter and weeds, and soon a community clean-up day will make it even tidier for the summer.
“Madeira Drive has been an iconic location for events and films for decades but it isn’t being used to its full potential.”
The council said: “Help us restore our iconic arches to their former glory. We will save this historical structure from falling into disrepair, in the process creating a new lively quarter for Brighton.
“Madeira Terrace, a grade II-listed structure running half a mile along the seafront, is falling into irreversible disrepair.
“This crowdfunding campaign is the crucial first step in a £24 million plan to save the arches.
“This campaign aims to restore at least three arches but it will also do a whole lot more, helping the community to reimagine how all 151 could be used, unlocking £1 million from the council and proving a strong public mandate for future funding applications.
“With your pledges, ideas and volunteering we can return them to their former glory, and beyond.
“Once restored, Madeira Terrace will become the catalyst for regeneration of the eastern side of Brighton’s famous seafront.
“Pledges will be refunded if planning permission and listed building consent cannot be obtained.
“Project costs are estimates based on the latest surveys. The council will cover any shortfalls if final works come in above cost.
“This is a giant team effort by the people of Brighton, sourcing ideas as well as donations to create a vision for a Madeira Terrace that we can all get behind.
“This project will harness the city’s energy and creativity and allow the people of Brighton and Hove to make the country’s coolest new estate – on our beach – together.
“It’s about galvanising support to preserve something old while at the same time providing something exciting and different that we can all use and enjoy, for years to come.”
The crowdfunding campaign went live yesterday (Wednesday 26 July and runs until the end of November.