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Borough of Poole Investment For Lighthouse Project

Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts has announced a major step forward to achieving the funding required towards a £5.5m project to update the building.
 
Borough of Poole has confirmed that it will provide £650,000 funding towards the Capital development planned to improve the facilities.

The project will support Lighthouse to become more sustainable and resilient through the improvement of some aspects of the existing building and its operating infrastructure. Areas to be updated include the studio theatre, backstage artists’ accommodation, increased rehearsal and function room space and improvements to access and public foyers. Plans also include replacement and overhauling of engineering and electrical equipment – and a particular focus on sustainable initiatives to improve renewable energy and increase efficiency.

The Arts Council of England has already approved the first phase of a funding application for £4m of the total costs and the support of council will bring Lighthouse even closer to securing this significant funding from Government, which is determined on finding the remaining funding.

Chief Executive for Lighthouse, Elspeth McBain said, “It is twelve years since Lighthouse was refurbished and many millions of people have used the building and its unrivalled facilities and enjoyed its arts programme since then. This exciting project will ensure that the building continues to be well maintained and a cherished iconic public building for Poole. Some areas, such as the dressing rooms and engineering mechanisms were not refurbished in 2002, so this project enables us to address that as well as to introduce some improvements for audiences and for our artists. We are very grateful that Borough of Poole has demonstrated its ongoing support for Lighthouse, and as the freeholder of the building is continuing to invest in its upkeep.”

Cllr Judy Butt, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Public Engagement and Participation, Borough of Poole, said: “I am delighted that the recommendations to Tuesday's Full Council meeting to, in real terms 'invest to save' were supported by a large majority of Poole’s councillors.  It is vital that we invest in Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts to future proof the building, which the council own, for the benefit of the whole community, regardless of age, disability or pocket. The improvements that this investment will provide will ensure an efficient building, with quality ICT, communications and substantially improved use of both interior and exterior space. This will provide long overdue disabled access for both visitors and performers alike, which will in further reduce running costs and boost efficiency savings. Once the £5.5m project, of which the Arts Council is funding £4m, is complete, the Lighthouse will be able to derive increased income, which will help ensure future financial sustainability.”

Chief Executive for Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Dougie Scarfe said, “I am delighted that Borough of Poole has confirmed its funding support towards the Lighthouse Capital development project to improve facilities at Lighthouse. Home to the BSO since it opened in 1978, Lighthouse is where we plan, create, rehearse and perform our work, work which is then ‘exported’ right across the region, county and in the case of our broadcasts and recordings, the world. I am really pleased to be working so closely with Lighthouse and Borough of Poole to deliver these plans that will see our audiences, performers and the wider community in the building benefit from the improvements in a building that I am proud to have as the home for our world-class orchestra – the BSO.”

Proposals and plans for the refurbishment will be shared publicly through the Lighthouse website and social media in the new year. Work is anticipated to commence during 2015 with completion in 2016, subject to additional funding.