Not for Profit

Published: July 8, 2020 | Updated: July 8, 2020

Arts Council’s emergency grant is ‘absolute lifeline’ says Lighthouse Chief Executive 

By Andrew Diprose, editor

“This funding is an absolute lifeline and keeps us in business – for now.”

The relieved reaction of Elspeth McBain, Lighthouse Chief Executive.

She was speaking after Arts Council England announced an emergency grant of £255,038, ensuring the short-term survival of Poole’s centre for the arts. 

Elspeth, pictured left, said: “After so many weeks of uncertainty, and with no information as to when venues can open for live performance, this funding is an absolute lifeline and keeps us in business – for now.

“This money will support Lighthouse until the autumn, by which time we hope to be able to partially reopen our wonderful building.

“We are planning new ways of operating so that we can use our spaces creatively until the time that we can welcome back the audiences we have missed so much during this time. 

“It won’t be business as usual, but we can now see a positive future.

“The government’s rescue package [£1.57 billion] will further support arts and culture and is hugely welcome.

“We are looking forward to receiving the details as to how and when this support will be available. 

“After an increasingly bleak few weeks, this is the best news we could have hoped for.

“We are utterly relieved that Lighthouse now has every chance of continuing to provide our community with the arts and entertainment and community engagement work that our town and region needs and absolutely should have. 

Lighthouse plans to publish an interim programme of works for the autumn within the next few weeks and will make a decision about pantomime later this month. 

The funding is part of a £160m package the Arts Council has made available to the culture sector in England during the crisis.