A charity that brings touring art to rural communities in Dorset has secured funding for the next three years.

Artsreach has announced that it has secured £42,000 of funding from the Dorset Council Organisational Revenue Support Fund.

This 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 of Dorset Council is invaluable in enabling us to continue to programme quality live performances across the county.

"It is also a 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.”

Dorset Echo: AKA Dance in BroadmayneAKA Dance in Broadmayne (Image: Artsreach)

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. 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 can 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 as village halls - over £31,000 was retained by rural communities in 2022/23 as a result of Artsreach activity.

Dorset Echo: Spitmilk Dance in Colten CarehomeSpitmilk Dance in Colten Carehome (Image: Artsreach)

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."

Artsreach is one of the longest-running schemes which forms part of the National Rural Touring Forum, a network of organisations that programmes professional artistic events that tour in their region.