AN EXPANSIVE new gallery has opened up in Bridport – featuring the works of former art fraudster Billy Mumford among others.

Situated at St Michael's Trading Estate, the Global Art Galleries and Bridport Vintage Warehouse boasts a range of works ranging from a fiver to £30,000.

The gallery's owner, James Hartey, believes he has the largest private art collection in the UK - a claim which does not seem far fetched considering that he owns more than 60,000 pieces of art.

The jewel in the crown is the work of renowned art fraudster, Billy Mumford, a friend of Mr Hartey. Mr Mumford rose to prominence in the 1990s when he painted near-exact versions of the works of L.S Lowry, Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso among others and passed them off as originals.

He was eventually jailed for two years after putting more than £6 million in fake works through some of the art world’s best-known auction houses.

Mr Mumford now recreates these pieces legitimately under his own name, complete with a certificate of authenticity.

A permanent exhibition of Billy Mumford’s work can be viewed with works also for sale, along with a large collection of modern and vintage art and collectables.

'Billy Mumford: The world's most prolific art forger', a book written by Mr Hartey can also be found at the gallery.

Mr Hartey moved to Bridport after having to move out of his Ferndown gallery.

He said: "Bridport tempted me to move down here, I love everything about it. The people are so warm and friendly, the scenery is fantastic and the high street is so vibrant."

He added: "There's a lot of variety in the gallery. A lot of people come in not knowing what we have here - and then they walk in and look around and they're amazed. I just love it - it's such a lovely place to just be and look around and experience.

"When I talk to people then often say 'I had no interest in art when I walked in' but they're captivated by it. There are so many stories alongside the art and I love to share them with people.

The space also features the works of the likes of Katherine Rowe, Peter Longden, Nigel Hughes and more.

The gallery officially opened on April 15 with a 'soft launch' over the past week. It will have an official opening around the end of May or beginning of June.

To see the works in person visit the gallery at 61 St Michael's Trading Estate, St Michael’s Lane, next to Ocean Bathrooms.