As it faces an uncertain future Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts, has been buoyed by the response to its Bridge The Gap fundraising campaign to help it survive the coming months.
Launched last Friday, more than £5400 has been raised already with almost half of that coming in the first 90 minutes. Lighthouse also registered several new members to its Friends scheme taking the total membership to more than 200.
“We already knew our supporters are incredibly generous, but their response to the Bridge The Gap campaign has been absolutely amazing,” says Lighthouse Fundraising Manager Tom Shallaker.
In common with all arts venues Lighthouse is grappling with unprecedented challenges and is rallying audiences to help it bridge the gap until it can again present live performances to capacity audiences.
The venue earns more than 80% of its income from people coming to see shows and spending money on tickets, drinks and refreshments. That income was wiped out overnight when Lighthouse closed its doors on 17 March to help fight the spread of COVID-19.
Emergency funding from Arts Council England has provided a vital lifeline and local people have continued donating during lockdown, but with full audiences still unable to return the organisation is launching the Bridge The Gap campaign to support its on-going appeal to help it get through the current situation.
“There is a significant gap in our funding between now and the moment we can welcome back audiences without social distancing,” explains Tom.
“The campaign is called Bridge The Gap and the request is simple – we’re asking our loyal supporters and customers to give what they can to help us survive the next few months and ‘bridge the gap’ to a better time when we can again welcome capacity houses in our performance spaces.
“We are extremely grateful for everything that has been done, but there is more work to do and I’m sure the community will rise to the challenge and help us bounce back stronger than ever.”
For the time being Lighthouse is booking shows for socially distanced audiences and its autumn programme launches with Lighthouse: OUTSIDE on 19 September, the first of four Saturdays of live music, theatre, magic and performance art outdoors in the amphitheatre to the side of the venue.
For more information and to donate to Bridge The Gap visit lighthousepoole.co.uk/support-lighthouse.