In response to a recent access report Lighthouse Poole is installing two new automatic doors backstage that will greatly improve access for performers and staff.
The doors – at stage level and sub-stage – enable wheelchair users to access the Theatre stage and orchestra pit without assistance and are being installed thanks to a grant of £5,000 from the Theatres Trust Small Grants Programme supported by The Linbury Trust, one of 14 such awards made to UK theatres.
“This is a very important improvement for which Lighthouse is enormously grateful to the Theatres Trust,” says Chief Executive Elspeth McBain.
“Lighthouse has recently carried out significant work, partly with support from the Theatres Trust, in our front of house areas to make our building more accessible for audiences and now this project will ensure our staff and performers can use backstage areas that are as accessible as the facilities we provide for our audiences.”
Although the immediate beneficiaries of the project immediately will be performers, both professional and amateur, who have access requirements, the installation of new automatic doors backstage will enable Lighthouse to further diversity the work that can be presented on its stages.
Theatres Trust is the national advisory public body for theatres and champions the future of live performance by protecting and supporting theatre buildings to meet the needs of their communities. Launched in 2012, its Small Grants Programme supported by The Linbury Trust awards grants of up to £5,000 to theatres to address urgent building works and improvements.
Jon Morgan, Director of Theatres Trust, comments: “Theatres Trust is proud to support these 14 theatres with small but important projects, great examples of the different ways theatres are looking to futureproof their operations and remain at the heart of their communities.”
Stuart Hobley, Director of The Linbury Trust, adds: “Theatre spaces bring such incredible value to community life, and we’re thrilled to support these theatres, right across the UK, helping them to thrive, improve accessibility, and continue to share the joy of arts and culture with the local people.”
Jurassic Doors, a long-standing Lighthouse sub-contractor that has previously delivered similar projects in the building, is carrying out the installation of the doors.
“Lighthouse is a cultural lifeline for our community, a place where people can experience world class theatre and improve the quality of their lives through socialising, developing skills and experiencing the arts,” adds Elspeth.
“Improving access for performers will help to make our building even more welcoming.”