Today’s announcement that Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts, is to receive a further grant of £487,423 from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund has come as a ‘huge relief’ to the organisation and will support the rebuilding of reserves to the end of the financial year as it continues its recovery and reopening through the current period of uncertainty. 

More than £100 million has been awarded to hundreds of cultural organisations across the country, the Culture Secretary announced today. The third round of funding will support organisations from all corners of the sector as they deal with ongoing reopening challenges, ensuring they can thrive in better times ahead.  

“This is a huge relief and the best news we could have hoped for as we build our way back,” says Chief Executive Elspeth McBain.  

“Although we have been delighted to welcome back the audiences and artists we have missed for so long, there remains uncertainty and caution for both artists and audiences and this award will bolster our long-term financial security so that we can continue to present the world class performance and cultural experiences that our community demands and deserves.”  

It is particularly timely as Lighthouse hosts the brilliant Global Rainbow light art installation this week as a symbol of resilience, thanks and hope for the future. The rainbow of light over Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch can be seen for over 35 miles and offers an opportunity for unifying wonderment and reflection.  

With live performance paused during lockdown, the three rounds of CRF grants have been enormously significant, enabling Lighthouse to continue its work online and with artists behind closed doors. Lighthouse supported its resident orchestra BSO to continue to work by turning the Concert Hall into a rehearsal and live streaming studio enabling their work to be reached by thousands of people online.  

In one of its key lockdown projects Lighthouse partnered with celebrated new writing theatre company Paines Plough to deliver readings by Zoom of playwright Chloe Moss’ specially adapted work Quicksand to residents of two nursing homes in Poole as part of the ‘Come To Where I Am’ caller service. Emmerdale actress Fiona Wade read to residents at The Laurels and Abigail Cruttenden, best known as Anna in the sitcom Not Going Out, read to residents at Burwood Nursing Home. 

CRF grants also enabled the SANCTUARY artist residency scheme in which emerging artists and companies from Dorset and further afield were able to take up the offer of rehearsal and workshop space and support at Lighthouse at no cost to themselves. As a direct result of those residencies several companies have produced new work that has formed part of the autumn and spring programme seasons at Lighthouse. 

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “Culture is for everyone and should therefore be accessible to everyone, no matter who they are and where they’re from. 

“Through unprecedented government financial support, the Culture Recovery Fund is supporting arts and cultural organisations so they can continue to bring culture to communities the length and breadth of the country, supporting jobs, boosting local economies and inspiring people.” 

Over £1.2 billion has already been awarded from the unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund, supporting around 5000 individual organisations and sites across the country ranging from local museums to West End theatres, grassroots music venues to festivals, and organisations in the cultural and heritage supply-chains. 

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: “This continued investment from the Government on an unprecedented scale means our theatres, galleries, music venues, museums and arts centres can carry on playing their part in bringing visitors back to our high streets, helping to drive economic growth, boosting community pride and promoting good health. It’s a massive vote of confidence in the role our cultural organisations play in helping us all to lead happier lives.” 


Published 19 November 2021