AN emergency grant has been given to Poole’s Lighthouse, which confirms the short-term survival of the centre for the arts.

The £255,038 grant was announced by Arts Council England as part of a £160million package to help the culture sector during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lighthouse chief executive, Elspeth McBain, 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. 

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

Darren Henley, the Arts Council’s chief executive, described the grant as an “intervention fund”.

He said: “Ideally, we would not have to use all of the allocated £90m for this emergency period, because we anticipate that bigger investments will be necessary later to help the sector reopen.  

"But ultimately, we’re trusting everyone to be unselfish, and to act individually in the best interests of the whole."