Cultural organisations across Dorset have been awarded almost half a million pounds in support funds

Dorset Council Organisational Revenue Support Fund for Culture has awarded £486,000 to 28 organisations over the next three years.

A total of 41 applications came from arts and heritage organisations, receiving £217,000, and accredited museums, which were awarded £269,000.

This funding has been spread across the Dorset Council area to ensure residents and communities have cultural benefit around the county.

All the organisations awarded with this money are based in and deliver their programmes within the council’s boundaries.

Laura Beddow, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Culture and Communities, said: “I’m pleased that we have been able to help so many organisations to bring arts and heritage to all corners of the council’s area. It will make a lot of difference for the people of Dorset.”

There are several new organisations which have been granted awards this time round. One of these is the Mowlem Theatre in Swanage.

The Mowlem Theatre was opened in 1967 and replaced the smaller original Victorian building which had stood for over 100 years.

Situated on the seafront at Swanage, the theatre typically shows over 200 films each year in addition to up to 100 nights of live theatre, comprising local schools and amateur societies and professional productions.

Paul Angel, chair of Mowlem Theatre, said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded a grant from the Dorset Council Organisational Revenue Support Fund.

"This is the first time The Mowlem has received revenue funding and it's so valuable to us as a growing organisation, providing three years of reliable funds to help us develop our ambitions. We know that our community will be as thrilled with the news as we are!”

Sturminster Heritage Trust is another organisation which will receive a share of the funding. Zilla Brown, from the trust, works with a volunteer team who manage both Sturminster Mill and Museum.

She said: “Our revenue grant from Dorset Council will make a really positive difference to our capacity to manage both our sites and our events and outreach programming.

"It means we can continue to conserve our iconic buildings, introduce new interpretation, and provide lots of learning and engagement opportunities for our young people and the wider community."