What is Lighthouse Academy?

Creating pathways for an artistic future

Welcome to Lighthouse Academy: Fostering Artistic Futures and Empowering our Community


Lighthouse Academy is a vibrant hub for creativity, a driving force behind the transformation of young minds, aspiring artists, and our community in Dorset. Our mission is to be a shining light for cultural skills and careers across the South West. Our vision is of a thriving region where creative professionals and local people of all ages can live fulfilling, rich and rewarding lives.


Empowering the Next Generation

The heartbeat of our academy lies in the diverse programmes designed to nurture budding talent. Below we have outlined the programmes that exist within Lighthouse Academy and aspirational projects for the future as Lighthouse Academy grows and develops.

Artists at Lighthouse – Nurturing Innovation and Creativity  

Lighthouse Academy aims t develop and support artists and creatives during their career. Sanctuary is our flagship programme to support artists with space to develop new work. Lighthouse Academy is looking at programmes to help support artists at every stage of their career.

Partnerships for Delivery

Our partnerships with various organisations like Dorset School of Acting, Stagewise, Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and many others reflect our commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and professional development.

Nurturing Schools and Educational Outreach

Our Partner Schools initiative offers tailored programmes, access to backstage tours, and training opportunities for students. Continuous Professional Development and Arts Award integration aim to empower both teachers and students in creative endeavours.

Empowering the Lighthouse Family 

Recognising the creative potential of our staff, we provide opportunities for training, workshops, and networking, fostering an environment where their artistic engagement can flourish alongside their professional growth.

Evaluating and Adapting for Excellence

We prioritise evaluation and academic research to constantly adapt and optimise our programmes, ensuring high-quality training and experiences for participants.

Led by Passionate Professionals

Our team at Lighthouse Academy, led by the Creative Engagement Manager and Producer, collaborates with partners and experienced facilitators to bring these transformative programmes to life.

At Lighthouse, the Academy is our way of strengthening the bonds in our community – ensuring that the culture we produce is made by, and made for, the people who live here.

Programmes for Young People

Young Writers

Engaging young minds through free creative writing workshops, our Saturday sessions cater to individuals aged 7-18, extending accessibility through an online platform. As we expand, we aim to increase capacity, offer rehearsed readings, and develop pathways for further creative growth.

Young Technicians

Our 12-week course mentors 16-19-year-olds in technical expertise, offering a direct career pathway into our technical department, partnerships with esteemed institutions, and accredited courses through HE institutions.

Young Producers

Commencing in Spring 2024, this programme will cater to individuals aged 16-21, focusing on producing, programming, and managing live events. Limited spaces will be available, accompanied by mentoring and integration with our seasonal programmes.

Aspirational Projects

Young Performers: In partnership with local arts organisations, this programme is aimed at developing dynamic performers from the local area, with a focus on acting, singing, and dancing, aiming to create a flagship training programme.

Lighthouse Youth Board: A forum for young individuals (16-30 years old) from diverse backgrounds to provide advisory insights and perspectives, shaping Lighthouse’s strategic decisions and fostering collaborative ventures across our programs.

Young Sanctuary/Next Generation Festival: A culmination of collaborative efforts, bringing together the various strands to present a showcase of talent, fostering new work, and offering developmental opportunities.

Artists At Lighthouse


Our Sanctuary initiative, established in response to the challenges posed by the pandemic, provides space and support for artists’ creative development. Artists receive essential resources, technical support, networking opportunities, and the chance to present their work to the community.

R&D Spaces

As part of Sanctuary, our Sherling Studio provides development spaces for artists, fostering creativity and community engagement.

Playwright Network and Events

Engaging playwrights in interactive forums, facilitating competitions, and hosting networking events for creative exchanges and skill sharing.

Dorset Artist Festival

Our biannual festival and accompanying artistic conferences serve as a hub for creative conversations, establishing Lighthouse as a nurturing ground for the local arts community


Partner Schools
CPD for teachers