Lighthouse (Poole)

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Coordinates: 50°43′05″N 1°58′40″W / 50.71806°N 1.97778°W / 50.71806; -1.97778

Arts centre, Theatre and Cinema
FoundedPoole in 1978

Lighthouse is an arts centre in Poole, Dorset, England. According to the Arts council of England it is the largest arts centre in the United Kingdom outside London.[1]

It has a 669-seat theatre, a 1,500 seat concert hall, a 150-seat studio, a 105-seat cinema, an Image Lab/media suite, a large gallery for photography and digital art, a restaurant and three function rooms. The concert hall is home to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.[1][2]

History, development and funding[edit]

The Poole Arts Centre (Towngate Theatre, Wessex Hall and Ashley Cinema) opened in April 1978 to serve the South East Dorset conurbation. The venue closed in May 2002 for an £8.5 million radical refurbishment and overhaul. This was paid for by Arts Counc Lottery Awards, the Borough of Poole and through private donations. It reopened as Lighthouse, Poole's Centre for the Arts in October 2002. The refurbishment added new extensive facilities including a modern cinema, expanded concert hall and photography labs. Other additions included expanded customer facilities and a new restaurant.

Lighthouse receives additional funding from the Arts Council England. In 2005/06 £230,000; in 2006/07 they received £330,000; in 2007/08 they were to receive a total of £339,080.[1] Lighthouse is currently owned by the Poole Arts Trust Ltd.

Programming and types of shows[edit]

Lighthouse provides a wide-ranging programme, including:


Concert hall[edit]


  • Small scale children's theatre
  • Small scale adult theatre


Eclectic mix of world cinema, and recent releases normally presented 4–8 weeks after general release.


External links[edit]