ARTHUR Ransome enthusiasts are today launching a new fund to raise money to buy a permanent base in the Lakes dedicated to the writer.

The author of Swallows and Amazons - the 1930s novel which follows a group of children’s Lake District adventures - has no dedicated attraction here.

Since being set up in 2010, the Arthur Ransome Trust’s aim has been to buy a building for large exhibitions, activities and reading materials.

Trustee Paul Flint, of Windermere, said: “We want to give Ransome the same recognition that other authors in the area have had.

“While people are able to visit centres that promote Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth, there is no location that focuses exclusively on Arthur Ransome, yet his writing has influenced generations of children since the 1930s and his children’s novels have never gone out of print. “He has encouraged people to read books at an early age more than any other writer. We would like to find somewhere that would be suitable to put on permanent exhibitions and activities for children.”

Mr Flint said the trust would focus on more achievable ideas first, such as buying a trailer and marquee for mobile exhibitions and teaching materials for primary schools.

He said the trust had already viewed at least two potential buildings in the Coniston area which could help them realise their ultimate ambition of creating a permanent home.

Members hope it would become to Ransome what Dove Cottage is to Wordsworth and Hill Top to Beatrix Potter, which attract thousands of international visitors every year.

The trust has set a fundraising target of £750,000 to buy premises which would be fitted with reading resources, displays and a refreshment area. It would also provide children’s sailing and camping, activities which are featured in the book.

“It’s far easier to raise funds when you find somewhere to shout about because you can advertise that as being your objective,” said Mr Flint.

“We’ve raised several tens of thousands of pounds from people committing to support the project, but we’re being slightly cautious and focusing on our more readily-achievable targets.” The trust, which organised the first exhibition of Ransome’s original artwork at Brantwood in 2011, hopes to attract funding from public donations from exhibiting at shows and from groups and charitable trusts.

The fund will launch at the Coniston Regatta, running until Saturday, where a replica of one of Ransome’s boats will feature. The farm in Swallows and Amazons was based on Coniston’s Bank Ground Farm.

Ransome spent childhood holidays at Nibthwaite and went on to write more than 40 books.

Filming for a new film version of the tale is due to start this summer, the first one since 1974.