A FORMER bank that was used as a cannabis farm is now the new home of a popular Wigton Gallery.

The substantial building in King Street is a freehold investment development opportunity.

Standing on the main route through the town, the former bank has had a rough couple of years.

Just last year, police swooped on the site in a drug operation that resulted in two arrests.

But now the property has been snapped up and work is under way way to re-open from June 1.

Since 2011, Wigton’s popular Fountain Gallery has showcased the work of artists in its premises in High Street.

But from June, it will re-open in a larger venue in King Street, near its current home.

Brian Campbell, chairman of the gallery’s cooperative group of artists, said: “For some time, we have been rather cramped for display space, but now we can expand.

“With more room in the former Barclays Bank building we will exhibit a wider range of work and also include some new guest artists.

“After surviving lockdown, this move is a great step forward for us”.

The present artists’ cooperative group consists of two potters, two sculptors, a wildlife photographer, a textile artist, jewellers, a wood turner and 11 painters, all living in North Cumbria.

The Fountain Gallery also sells its own artists’ prints and cards, as well as providing a picture framing service.

Mr Campbell continued: “Our work inevitably carries a strong local flavour and the Fountain Gallery has always been a source of pride for the people of this area.

“I know their enthusiastic support will be maintained in our superb new main-street premises.

“At the moment, the team is all working away quietly towards our new building.

“Our very skilled wood turner Rod has been creating beautiful display risers in the windows, too, so all of the items on display can be seen from outside.”