News - Lighthouse

Stepnell completes smart new refurbishment for Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts

Stepnell has completed a smart new £2.7 million refurbishment of Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts, the largest multi-space performance venue outside London.

The arts centre’s ground-floor front elevation now features a light-enhancing clear double-glazed walling system, which is accentuated by new low-energy LED internal lighting. The Studio Theatre has been remodelled to seat the audience in a semi-circle around the stage and renamed the Sherling Studio. Extensive mechanical and electrical work has been undertaken throughout the building including new air-cooling technology and humidity control in the Concert Hall.

“The design of this refurbishment was very carefully considered in terms of aesthetics and efficiency,” says Rob Speirs, regional director for Stepnell which has offices in Blandford Road, Poole. “The main entrance has been completely restyled and centralised so that all visitors, whether headed for the café, the box office or just leaving a show, will all be moving through the same area of the building, reducing the amount of wasted lighting.” 

New facilities at Lighthouse also include an accessible first-floor dressing room and refurbished bathrooms, rehearsal and classroom space, and the building’s first ‘green room’ where performers can relax when they are not on stage. Existing function rooms have been upgraded with improved acoustics, sound insulation and digital screen facilities. The demolition of internal walls and revised wall layout has allowed an additional function room to be included. The backstage entrance has also been updated with new security. 

Elspeth McBain, chief executive of Lighthouse, comments: “As we look forward to the centre's 40th birthday in 2018, the investment in the future of this magnificent building will pay instant dividends by enabling us to develop our programme to respond to both our community and the theatre sector nationally.”