As the creative industries prepare to work again Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts, is inviting artists to apply for a fully funded new support scheme to help them bring their ideas to life. 

SANCTUARY will see the venue’s Sherling Studio turned into a creation space and from May to September it will be made available to artists and creative practitioners of all kinds – from theatre-makers to song writers – to rehearse, undertake research and development, and/or hold workshops and, within guidelines, sharings 

“This innovative scheme, at no cost to the artists, is about creating a safe haven and supporting creative talent to do what it does best,” says Lighthouse Head of Programming Tim Colegate. 

“Over the past year, and in the face of the pandemic, Lighthouse has supported artists where we can, as well as a symphony orchestra, to maintain their creative practice despite limited opportunities for audiences to be welcomed into the building. Lighthouse: SANCTUARY extends that programme and we look forward to seeing artists working again in this iconic building preparing and developing work for when we can welcome audiences again.  

The Sherling Studio is a 130-seat, fully equipped, thrust venue. It was refurbished in 2016 and can be configured to increase workspace and reduce seating. As one of four venues at Lighthouse it usually plays host to visiting artists and companies and is particularly recognised for small scale theatre, children’s drama, the rolling music and comedy series, and recital programme. 

Dates are available for artists throughout May, June, July, and August with Lighthouse providing exclusive use of the studio from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday; fixed lighting/sound rig; up to two days technical support; projector/screen; separate technical booth; dressing room for four people and use of shared Green Room; broadcasting/filming facilities; sharing of work on the final day of residency. All services are provided free of charge and there is further support available for expenses including travel, accommodation and sustenance. 

“Thanks to the invaluable support of the Cultural Recovery Fund and Weston Culture Fund, Lighthouse is able to offer our facilities and technical support free of charge as well as a level of financial support to help remove additional economic barriers to creative practitioners using our space as part of the SANCTUARY scheme,” adds Tim. 

“We hope that welcoming in companies again through SANCTUARY will bring new energies to the venue as we start to reopen and recover. 

All resident artists will need to follow current Covid-19 safety measures and complete a Covid-19 Risk Assessment. 

In return, Lighthouse is asking artists to consider supporting its Bright Sparks learning and participation programme by offering a supplementary experience such as a workshop, a Q&A, an interview, or a blog; and for artists to acknowledge the support of Lighthouse in their websites and social media, and in any future work that emerges as a result of their creation time at Lighthouse. 

Artists interested in the months of May and June should submit their application no later than 5pm on Wednesday 28 April. Those interested in July and August slots should apply no later than 5pm on Wednesday 19 May. 

Application forms are available from 


Published 13 April 2021