Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts, is once again opening its Sherling Studio venue and function rooms as creation spaces this summer.Sanctuary 22 builds on the overwhelming success of last year’s inaugural artist residency by making the spaces available for free to enable artists to progress their practice.

“We are open to emerging and established creative practitioners from any performative artform, and the space can be to rehearse, undertake research and development, hold workshops and/or sharing performances,” says Head of Programming at Lighthouse, Tim Colegate.

“In this way Lighthouse can enable the production of new work as Sanctuary gives artists the space and time in which to think, dream, play, try, fail, succeed, finesse, and create.”

When faced with having to close its venues to public performance in lockdown, Lighthouse responded positively, consolidating and extending its Creative Engagement and Artist Development activities, most notably with the Sanctuary residency scheme and last summer, some 19 companies and artists – a total of 80 individual creatives – benefited from the offer.

Crucially, artists will again be able to apply for bursaries to cover costs such as accommodation, travel and food.

“Lighthouse has bounced back strongly since the final Covid restrictions were lifted with our busiest ever season,” adds Tim. “The receipts from that will be invested in extending this year’s Sanctuary intake further increasing our engagement with artists from all backgrounds and communities.”

Future plans include the first Dorset Artists Festival in May and the return of the Lighthouse Playwriting Prize after this year’s winner – St Ives by DA Nixon – was staged as a rehearsed reading with professional cast and director in the Sherling Studio.

A full information pack and application form is available at

Pictured: Theatre maker Hannah Kumari working on a piece called Spinning Wheel in the Sherling Studio as part of the Sanctuary artist residency. Photo: Craig Fuller

Published 29 March 2022