Funding Secured from Dorset Council

Fri 12 Jan 2024

Dorset Council continues to support the thriving touring arts network in rural communities by investing in Artsreach

The team at Artsreach is pleased to announce that the organisation has secured vital funding from Dorset Council Organisational Revenue Support Fund for the next three years, which will help sustain the future of the professional touring programme it delivers in partnership with community volunteers. 

  Artsreach Director Kerry Bartlett said:

The continued support Dorset Council is invaluable in enabling us continue to programme quality live performances across the County. It is also testament to the incredible energy of our volunteer promoter network – these individuals work tirelessly to bring their community together through a vibrant programme of events, and this funding recognises both the work they do, and the quality of the work Artsreach presents, and has toured over the last thirty years.”

Since 1990 Artsreach has been dedicated to providing people living in rural Dorset with access to professional live performances and creative arts projects in rural venues and communities, at affordable and accessible prices. Its performance programme is delivered in partnership with a network of over 40 volunteer promoting groups and together the scheme presents over 130 high quality professional events every year, usually in village halls and often in rurally isolated communities right across rural Dorset. 

The confirmation of this grant funding will ensure that Artsreach is able to continue to bring professional live performances and creative arts projects to rural venues right across Dorset, in turn helping to nurture strong, healthy communities by actively combating issues such as loneliness and rural isolation.

Alongside core funding from Arts Council England, the annual Dorset Council grant of £42,000 will enable Artsreach to continue to play a key role in generating much needed income for vital community assets such a village halls - over £31,000 was retained by rural communities in 2022/23 as a result of Artsreach activity. 

Cllr Laura Beddow, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Culture and Communities said: 

“Artsreach is a fabulous organisation bringing incredible artists to the hidden corners of Dorset. At Dorset Council we are fiercely proud of our culture sector and delighted that we are able to support Artsreach and give our residents the opportunity to see amazing shows on their own doorsteps!"

When asked what Artsreach means to them, audience members said:

“Artsreach contributes significantly to the community spirit of rural villages by introducing entertainment that is stimulating, encouraging communities to explore other means of energising village life”.