Lighthouse “Survive to thrive” appeal

LOCAL support for Poole’s Lighthouse centre for the arts resulted in more than £2100 being raised over the weekend following the relaunch of its Bridge The Gap fundraising campaign.

“Once again we have been humbled by the incredible generosity of our amazing supporters and audiences,” says Lighthouse fundraising manager Tom Shallaker. “With their help, throughout all of the challenges that we faced during 2020 we managed to find a way to survive and continue our work for everyone in Dorset and the wider region.

“Thanks to Arts Council England and government support, grants from charitable foundations and donations from thousands of generous people we’ve made it this far, but until we can resume our programme of live performances to capacity audiences, we need your help.”

More than 80 per cent of the arts centre’s income is from people coming to see shows and spending money on tickets, drinks and refreshments. Without that income the venue is rallying audiences to help it bridge the gap until it can again present live performances. As well as Lighthouse Outdoors performances and Covid-compliant socially-distanced events in the cinema, theatre and concert hall – including the Christmas show, Happy Ever After – the venue provided opportunities for more than 500 young people from across Dorset to learn and take part in the arts, online and socially distanced at the centre. The arts centre also made Arts Award Discovery qualifications more accessible to young people without access to home computers by partnering with Dorset Scrapstore and local foodbanks to distribute craft packs.

“We long to welcome back our audiences and artists,” adds Tom. “But to bridge the gap until it is safe to do so we’re asking our loyal supporters and customers to give what they can to help us survive today so that we can thrive tomorrow.” For more information and to donate to Bridge The Gap, visit