Getting in and out of Lighthouse is now much easier for people in wheelchairs and less mobile users of Poole’s centre for the arts, thanks to newly installed automatic doors.

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The push-button doors opposite the lift greatly improve access and mean those who need the lift no longer have to cross a crowded foyer at busy times.  

The new doors have been installed thanks to a grant of £4,000 from the Theatres Trust.

“This is a vital improvement for which Lighthouse is extremely grateful to the Theatres Trust,” says Chief Executive Elspeth McBain. “People who need to use the lift will be able to more easily navigate the foyer at busy times and the new entrance will also provide better access from the car park.”

Theatres Trust is the national advisory public body for theatres and champions the future of live performance by protecting and supporting theatre buildings that meet the needs of their communities. Launched in 2012, its UK Small Theatres Grants Scheme awards grants of up to £5,000 to theatres to address urgent building works and improvements. It receives support from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and Charles Michael Holloway Charitable Trust.

“I am thrilled to see Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation funding targeted in the support of these regional theatres under the direction of Theatres Trust expertise,” says Sarah Miller, director at Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation. “Theatres are so often the hubs of their communities and they should be cherished.”

Jon Morgan, director of Theatres Trust added: “I’m proud that our UK Theatres Small Grants Scheme can help theatres make significant improvements to secure and improve their buildings’ fabric and provide a more accessible and welcoming customer experience for their audiences.”

And there’s more to come…

The new doors are just the first in a series of refinements to improve accessibility at Lighthouse.

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, more automatic openers will be installed on the doors leading from the lift to the first and second floor foyers, as well as on two of the accessible toilets.

“This is a remarkably generous donation and we hope it will make the experience of visiting Lighthouse even better for everyone for years to come,” adds Elspeth McBain.

Picture shows: Performers from Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists, the performance training company based at Lighthouse, welcome improved access at Poole’s centre for the arts. Pictured, from left: Richard Moy-Thomas, Joe Lopez (crouching), Emily Cutler, Jessica Skelton (handstand), Shane Masterman, Natalya Howard, Jess Edney, Joshua Ward, Luke Davies

By Nick Churchill Published 24 June 2019