Our story

Opened in 1978, Lighthouse was conceived as a receiving venue with the vision of injecting cultural provision into Dorset and providing a new home for Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO).

Over the years, Lighthouse has welcomed amazing shows, renowned actors and royal guests (the Queen twice, Princess Diana) plus we have an interesting social, political and architectural story to tell.  Our emergence aligns with the creation of the Arts Centre model in the UK. In 1965, the Government published a white paper on arts centres and  in 1968 forward thinking officials at the Borough of Poole identified the need for a local arts centre. Following a public meeting in 1972, plans were draw up for Poole Arts Centre, which opened on 1st  April 1978.  In 2000 the building rebranded and was renamed Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts.  Lighthouse has been through two major refurbishments  in 2000 and most recently in 2016/17