Leezac Robinson is hoping to get financial backing to transform North Woolwich Old Station into a place for artists in East Ham
When Leezac Robinson missed his bus stop one night after studying at the University of East London, he stumbled upon a rather remarkable building.
Built in 1854, North Woolwich Old Station was a once popular spot serving the Great Eastern Railway. In 1984, it was converted into a railway museum, before eventually closing in November 2008.
Now it sits empty, grandly looking out over the River Thames from East Ham.
Spurred on by the promise of Olympic legacy and a desire to influence young people's lives for the better, Leezac, a 32-year-old local film producer, is now relentlessly campaigning for this building to be renovated and re-opened as a shared space for creative arts.
"I saw this empty space that looked absolutely amazing," he said.
Leezac is the head of The People's Republic Film Society (TPRFS) a community group in east London which counts "to recognise and support new filmmakers" as one of its key aims.
"As a committee we discussed how we could use this space and have it benefit the Newham community. We decided to start a campaign to reclaim and renovate the station."
So far, the campaign has garnered plenty of support.
In a letter personal letter, Jeremy Hunt, secretary for culture, media, Olympics and sport, told Leezac: "I am sure having access to such facilities will be incredibly beneficial to young people in and around Newham.
"And will enable to them to channel their energies towards creative ends."
More recently, MP for East Ham Stephen Timms agreed to help Leezac lobby his cause. Mr Timms has fond memories of the building - he attended its opening as a museum in 1984.
Labour MP Stephen Timms is backing the campaign
"I'd love to see it used by the local community once again," he said.
"I think what Leezac is proposing is an idea that could be very popular, could draw on a lot of community support.
"We want to see resources like that used for the benefit of our community and I think this idea is a very good one for achieving that goal."
Central to Leezac's vision for North Woolwich Old Station is the ability to give young people in a troubled area of the UK the chance to work together for more positive means.
He hopes that his project could be adopted as a way of helping young and first-time offenders get back into the workforce.
As well as creative opportunities, Leezac's plan the building is to allow local apprentices have input in the renovation and upkeep of the property.
Before all this, however, the project needs money.
Despite performing arts being set to be hit dramatically by government cuts, Leezac is confident that the Olympic influence can help bring cash his plans.
"We cannot be disheartened by these cuts," he insists.
"We cannot just turn around and say it's not going to happen, because as much as there are cuts in the Arts, there's money going into apprenticeship schemes.
"This Big Society is something that they are harping on about - and the Cultural Olympiad.
"The Mayor himself has revenue and pockets of money and so we're just keeping our blinkers on and keeping focused on the grand plan."
Stephen Timms agrees.
"There's going to be a lot of regeneration and redevelopment taking place.
Campaigners hope renovation work can be carried out by apprentices
"I think there's going to be a lot of interest, not just in the UK but around the world, because of the Olympic Games coming along.
"So I think Leezac's got a good chance of attracting the kind of interest and support that would enable this project to go forward."
That drive for support will now focus primarily on City Hall and the River Lea Tidal Mill Trust, the organisation responsible for the station.
TPRFS is now in the process of convincing the Trust to allow them to have control of the building, but it will not come cheap.
Leezac feels that it is community projects like his that will secure a real legacy for east London - and for that money needs to be spent.
"A super casino and a huge shopping mall does not really benefit us as Newham residents, and certainly not the young disenfranchised members of our community who are just going to looking on from the sidelines.
"We have to invest in these children.
"Every penny that comes into TPRFS's possesion will be invested into the youth so that they will grow into upstanding members of our community and people that we can be proud of because I am proud of my community.
"I'm proud of my borough."