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Motionhouse: Charge


01202 280000

INTRODUCTION Lighthouse is the largest regional arts centre in the UK, with a vibrant and significant programme that covers all the performing arts, visual arts and film within four auditoria and several gallery spaces. It would be impossible to maintain this complex venue without the substantial funding provided by The Borough of Poole and Arts Council England and we are grateful to them both for their support, confidence and financial investment. We are also extremely grateful for the generous support from the companies, individuals, trusts and foundations and audience members who generously supported our work in 2017/18. Our earned income continues to increase and is vital to help fund our extensive arts programme, education and outreach projects. This year it makes up over 76% of our total income and we remain entrepreneurial with commercial activities and events that support our charitable activities. This report provides an overview of the work that we have undertaken, the artists we have presented, encouraged, mentored and the audiences they have delighted. We are home to our resident orchestra BSO and our partnership with this world class organisation is integral to our ongoing success. Partnership working is a very important aspect of our work and this year we developed our work with several strategic touring consortia, including Regional Touring Network lead by English Touring Theatre, Black Theatre Live lead by Tara Arts, Circus Evolution lead by Crying Out Loud, Serious Partnership, Music Beyond the Mainstream (MBM) and Dance Touring Partnership (DTP), Paine’s Plough and The Roundabout Festival which we programmed as part of Bournemouth’s Arts by The Sea festival. We continue to work with many promoters, enabling artists and productions from all around the UK, as well as internationally to create an exciting annual programme. We have extended our artists development programme, working with many theatre makers and in this year had a focus on BAME artists and those with disability, commissioning and developing a range of new work primarily of small scale. One such production, Dominoes - written and performed by Phoebe Macintosh, has subsequently toured in the UK including the Edinburgh festival. This has been an important year as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Lighthouse and we have again programmed a range of high quality and creative productions. We have commissioned or co-produced five new works from nationally acclaimed companies such as Gecko Theatre Company and Dante or Die, as well as individual artists. This summer we presented our first outreach programme to Hamworthy Park with French Circus company Circa Tsuica under their star-studded big top.


We have had a few ups and downs along the way. Audiences increased, the number of events presented is rising and the commercial events programming is increasing. However, the café contractor withdrawing after only 16 weeks of trading was a significant blow and our internal team stepped up to take over successfully. We are grateful to our General Manager Martyn Balson for so readily accepting this challenge. As always, we are indebted to our incredible team of staff, volunteers and trustees, as well as the support of our audiences and building users and the amazing talent of our artists that enables us to flourish. We are sad to say goodbye to the first Artistic Producer, Stephen Wrentmore as he moves back to the USA. His work has inspired many and our drama programme has been enriched by his contribution. Everyone who works at Lighthouse, whether as a member of staff or a volunteer plays a vital part and we are hugely grateful to them all for their expertise and hard work, their commitment and their support which has contributed enormously to our continued success.

Elspeth McBain, Chief Executive

OUR STRATEGIC AIMS Lighthouse is the centre of artistic excellence for live events, film and visual art in Poole, providing a dynamic cultural facility for Poole, Dorset and the South West.

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS (2017/18) Mike Jeffries – Chairman Sally Crawford – Deputy Chair

Playing an essential part in the delivery of the National and Regional Arts Strategy we have an important role as a receiving venue for national and international theatre, dance, music, contemporary circus and film. We enable the creation of work and artist development and provide a home for the region’s orchestra, BSO. Lighthouse is integral to the economic and cultural profile of both the town and region and provides community performers, as well as professional artists, a place to perform and create work and a venue of international repute that our town can feel very proud of. Our aims are to:

Ian Metcalfe

✚ D  eliver a wide-ranging, high quality, nationally recognised arts and participation programme; developing new strands to the programme and nurturing companies and artists throughout Poole and the South West.

Rowena Gaston

✚ S  upport the cultural strategy for the region, developing our voice and influence across the town and the region. ✚ C  ultivate talent development, supporting and enabling the creation of ambitious creative work that would not otherwise be made. ✚ B  e the home of BSO and work collaboratively to ensure the successful delivery of the Orchestra’s primary concert series. ✚ E nsure financial resilience to support both our cultural and commercial objectives. ✚ E ngage with, communicate and develop our audiences with a focus on children and young people and to offer a world class experience and opportunities for learning.

Yangson Project: Factory Girl

✚ O  perate and maintain a world-class facility, that is well managed to the benefit of stakeholders, artists, audiences and hirers.

Prof. Bob Reeve Amir Sadeh Mark Powell Tracey Peters (Retired 17 October 2017) Sylvia Webster (Retired 7 November 2017) Clive Sherling (Resigned 26 March 2018) Nicky Oliver Amanda Stainer

SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM Elspeth McBain – CEO Martyn Balson – General Manager Sara St George – Head of Sales and Marketing /Dep CEO Stephen Wrentmore – Artistic Producer Peter Wilson – Head of Finance

DELIVERING A GREAT, WIDE RANGING, ARTS PROGRAMME Our programme is significant, broad and diverse and our ‘80/20 Vision’ is central to delivering this. Through this vision we have continued to take more ownership of the work we present, maintain a balance of 80% work received, and 20% self-produced. Lighthouse is becoming increasingly well-known for its diverse programme and high-quality output. The arts sector has been impacted by economic downturn since 2008 and many companies have changed and adapted their business models. One way that Lighthouse has responded is by actively supporting work from exciting non-mainstream companies developing opportunities for new talent with real ambition, expanding the programme for younger audiences whilst also honing our own producing and creating skills. The successes Lighthouse has achieved, despite financial challenges are because the work we deliver meets the needs of audiences by providing access to the best national work within the locality. The improvements to the building have been fundamental to making this possible. The range and number of artists commissions has increased beyond our initial aspirations with 5 commissions including Gecko: ‘The Wedding’, Audacious: ‘Light Up Poole’, new writer and performer Phoebe McIntosh to develop, make and produce ‘Dominoes’ for a small UK pilot tour, Hannah Treadaway as first Bright Spark to develop her play Tides. Lighthouse established co-producing partnerships to initiate and make six new pieces of theatre: three of which toured to London: REND Theatre: Judith, Macs Arcadian: Great Odds, Phoebe MacIntosh: Dominoes. We have shown work from all parts of the UK but had a aim to diversify our theatre programming in relation to BAME artists and creative teams, including; Bilmankhwe Arts: The Tempest, Yangson Project: Factory Girl, Townsend Productions: We are the Lions Mr Manager and Ballet Black. From a collaboration with Black Theatre Live we presented High Rise Theatre: Big Foot and Yellow Earth: Mountains and have commissioned and produced ‘Dominoes’ by Phoebe McIntosh, a story of a mixedrace woman struggling with identity. We have continued to present work outside the confines of our building, with year two of three of Paines Plough’s Roundabout pop up venue presented in Poole Park. The inaugural Light Up Poole attracted 20,000 visitors to Poole for a festival that illuminated the town after dark.







Artists residencies

Number of visiting companies


productions presented


7500 performers

Light Up Poole 2018


HOME OF THE BOURNEMOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (BSO) The good working relationship that each board and executive team have strived for is resilient and continues to flourish. The updates made to the building have improved the experience and environment for both the concert-goer and the artists at work. It is testament to the hard work of both parties that major capital works can be entered into in partnership and the new working environment enabled by the works has proved beneficial on both sides. The organisations worked in partnership on several events together throughout the year including four schools’ concerts, a relaxed concert, Composers day and social tea dances. Working with the orchestra, we created a new music programme – Meet the Music – to inspire and connect new audience to classical music. We co-created a live production of The Snowman as in the previous year.


A WORLD-CLASS FACILITY A significant amount of time over the last four years was spent developing and delivering the capital refurbishment project. The result is a building which we are delighted has been crowned winner of the 2018 RICS South West Awards, Community Benefit category and was Commended by SPACES Civic Building of The Year, Community Category. Having retained our Investors in People (IIP) accreditation, our staff continue to receive detailed training and mentoring, to ensure the customer experience at Lighthouse is second-to-none. We are passionate about excellent customer service and being family friendly. Our first management training programme to ensure access to progression and learning throughout the business has been completed and we continue to find ways to develop our workforce. The Marketing and Participation internship programme continues, and we are pleased that 100% of our interns have gone on to find employment either with us or elsewhere in the sector. This year we hosted 19 work experience students, from our partner schools. We continue to review and analyse customer response to both our artistic programme and the services we provide. Purple Seven analytics, introduced in 2016 uses email to capture users’ feedback on both performances and the venue. We continue to monitor social media to evaluate performances, including Facebook, Twitter and Trip Advisor. Lighthouse is committed to reducing our environmental impact and measuring our carbon impact and engaged Julie’s Bicycle to complete a building energy savings audit to develop an in-depth understanding of the site’s energy and carbon saving opportunities following the recent capital project. The findings show continued improvement in reducing our carbon footprint and a building that far surpasses bench mark expectations for our industry sector in terms of its energy efficiency. Savings in print have been significant with the introduction of new digital display screens and heavier use of our website as a sales tool. Further measures will be our focus turns to reducing water usage and introducing renewable energy and we will continue to monitor and promote our environmental sustainability.

‘This extensive project to refurbish an existing 1970’s arts centre was driven by a desire to make Lighthouse more open to the local community whilst at the same time significantly enhancing the facilities for the performing artists. The wide range of educational projects and community activities undertaken following the completion of the project is testament to its huge success. The refurbishment has ensured that Lighthouse will enjoy a bright future at the heart of the local community’ JUDGES SOUTH WEST COMMUNITY BUILDING AWARD

27% 3% 19% 47%

carbon footprint reduction

energy usage decrease

energy emission decrease

water use decrease


AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT & DEVELOPMENT Our 40th birthday has given us a platform to reconnect with audiences and remind them why Lighthouse is special to them. A call out to the public for their memories of Poole Arts Centre/Lighthouse has created a buzz, particularly on social media, with current and potential customers sharing their stories with us. The number of people coming to Lighthouse equates to nearly half the population of Dorset each year. We welcomed more ticket holders to the Theatre and Concert Hall alone last year than the entire population of Poole. Our in-depth work with Arts Council England’s Audience Finder project profiles audience data annually. This maps our target audiences to support art-form and organisational benchmarking against other venues, consortia and geographical areas. Approximately 40% of our users are based in Poole, with the remaining 60% largely travelling from across the South Coast and South West. Our Digital Strategy sets out our ambition to capitalise on our investment in improving our ticketing system and website and to enable interrogation of our data, so we can further identify and understand our audiences. Website sales have increased this year by over 12% and most of the access to our website is now via smartphone as opposed to via desktop. We have invested in a new full-time digital marketing post and have seen a 17% and 20% increase in Facebook and Twitter followers, respectively. YouTube views have increased by 89% and we have now begun actively using Instagram. Lighthouse aims to be an inclusive venue at the service of the community and we reflect this in our ticket prices which averaged £15.58.

This year we have continued to grow our Learning and Participation programme, developing our relations with schools and stakeholders in a much more proactive way. As well as a fascinating programme of outreach from visiting artists, workshops and pre- and post-show talks we have developed a range of bespoke new programmes of our own. This is exemplified by our ‘Partner Schools’ programme – a formalised, two-way, relationship between the organisation and applicant schools to bring participation and education opportunities to local youngsters. With partner schools we bring depth and quality to their programmes and enhance learning experiences. One of our partner schools used our cinema to screen their A level film projects to family and friends, with awards presented by Arts University film professionals. An experience they couldn’t get anywhere else. This journey is yielding exciting results, including the development of the Young Programmers and Young Technicians.

‘I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU […] for making this such an accessible event. It was an amazing experience to be included in every aspect of Processions including travel to London on the coach. […] At no time throughout the workshops was I made to feel ‘disabled’. I was able to take part in everything and it was a joy to see so many other enabled participants on the march. There were lots of wheelchairs, I saw guide dogs and people signing to each other. It was fantastic! My banner is now on display at Castlepoint Library where all the disability leaflets are.’ PROCESSIONS PARTICIPANT


increase in users


increase in users



increase in users








average ticket price

visiting companies


live events



tickets sold; a 12.7% increase on the previous year

pre/post show talks reached 4300 people


new bookers who purchased over 40,000 tickets





free companion seats for patrons with additional needs

films presented with 674 film screenings

of productions received from Touring companies and artists

created or enabled by Lighthouse

100,000 attended non-ticketed events


learning and participation sessions for over 43000 young people aged 0-19


FINANCIAL RESILIENCE The financial impact of austerity has continued to be felt throughout the business. It is most pronounced in terms of the level of funding we receive as well as the rising costs of providing the access, range and quality of the experiences we provide. We have maintained delivery, while both income and costs have been squeezed, thanks to clear planning and a small but dedicated team. Our financial aim is to build greater resilience through increasing cash reserves. This has to be achieved by generating regular and increasing annual surpluses. We have targeted improvements in margins in both the programme and secondary areas of the business, as well increasing fundraising and building commercial income. The Theatre Tax Credit has also proved invaluable as we as we have sought to produce our own work. We have also benefited from continued efficiencies in staff time and have made significant energy savings as a result of the recent building improvements.

The financial support of philanthropic trusts, foundations, individuals and corporations will be essential for the long-term resilience of the venue and for specific learning, participation and development projects. We have a small team to run a very large building with a complex series of events and projects. We rely on our many volunteers to support the delivery of the programme. With a renewed commercial focus and new board members, we have brought in skills relevant to the next stage of our business plan delivery. Despite the nationally mandated cuts that have created so much pressure on local authorities, we remain a key asset to the Borough of Poole, our major funder who has continued funding in 2019/20 and have retained National Portfolio Organisation status as a regularly funded organisation of Arts Council England for the periods ending 2019-2022. We are grateful for total grant income support from our principal stakeholders of £784.2k which, along with our trading income, is included in these figures.


Jasmin Vardimon: Pinnochio

We have seen real-terms cut in external funding of approximately 38%, which equates to approximately £480k since 2010 or an average of £60k every year. Our aims, however, remain robustly centred on delivering each of our funders’ cultural objectives.

FINANCIAL SUMMARY Lighthouse aims to deliver a great programme of arts and participation in a world-class venue, supported by an infrastructure that is financially resilient and efficient in its delivery.

Income from the events programme has increased in the year by 1% from 54% to 55%, and the related costs have fallen by 4% from 50% to 46% of total expenditure. We have invested in our team to deliver these improvements as we seek to build earned income and reduce reliance on grant funding.

For the year ended 31 March 2018, an unrestricted net surplus of £13,113 was recorded (2017: £10,461 deficit). Turnover (being total incoming resources not including voluntary and investment income) increased to £3,152,016 (2017: £2,683,503). As such, reserves are growing in line with our overall financial strategy.

In the coming year, further investment is anticipated in the building and the staff team to ensure Lighthouse continues to deliver in future years to its maximum potential. Fundraising income is scheduled to increase following the appointment of a fundraising manager which, in turn, will enable greater emphasis on accessibility and participation to the amazing work Lighthouse can offer.



Trading Sales 25% (2017: 23%)

Grant Income 20% (2017: 23%)

Trading Costs 18% (2017: 18%) Income from Events Programme 55% (2017: 54%)

Administration, Services & Marketing 36% (2017: 32%)

Cost for Events Programme 46% (2017: 50%)


2018 (£’000)

Grant income


2017 (£’000) 784

Donations and gifts



Trading sales



Income from events programme



Total income





Costs for events programme



Administration, services and marketing



Total expenditure



Surplus/(deficit) for year



EXPENDITURE Trading costs

* This ANNUAL REVIEW has been prepared in order to summarise the financial information for the year ending 31 March 2018. The information in this report has been derived from the full audited accounts which can obtained from Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts, Kingland Road, Poole, BH15 1UG.



Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra


Arts Development Company

Crying Out Loud

Martin Arumemi-Ikhide

Arts Marketing Association

Dorset School of Acting

Lyn Glass

Black Theatre Live

Dante Or Die

Ros Haigh

British Association of Concert Halls


Mark Oosterveen

Circus Evolution

Duncan Reeves Productions

Monica Pal

Dance Along the South Coast

Extraordinary Bodies Young Company

Simon Parsonage

Dance Touring Partnership

The Gandinis

Clive and Sally Sherling

Dorset Theatre Promoters Consortium

Inside Out Festival

Trethowans Solicitors

Music beyond Mainstream

The Mayflower Theatre

Regional Touring Network

Macs Arcadian

PARTNERSHIPS Activate Arts University Bournemouth Angel Exit Arts Council England Arts by the Sea Festival Borough of Poole Bournemouth and Poole College Bournemouth Tourism Bournemouth Symphony Chorus

Paines Plough Pavilion Dance South West The Point, Eastleigh Paines Plough Poole Tourism REND Theatre Serious Soundstorm Stagewise Wave

Company Registration Number: 1368325. Charity Registration Number: 275961 Registered and Principal Office: Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts, Kingland Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 1UG

We are also very grateful to those organisations who have hired our venues for conferences, meetings and large-vscale hospitality events and we continue to build our levels of directly earned commercial income. They include but are not limited to: Albion Language Schools, Arts University Bournemouth, Borough of Poole, Bournemouth and Poole Tourism Awards, Bournemouth Churches Housing Association, Care Choices, Diverse Abilities Plus, Dorset Tourism Awards, Dorset WI, Lush, LV, Open University, Partners in Care and Wedding Daze (Exhibitions). These events are a vital income stream to Lighthouse, as we continue to adapt to this new economic reality.

Profile for LighthousePoole

Annual Review 17/18  

Annual Review 17/18  


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