The Arts Development Company are a team of experienced arts and culture consultants, producers and programme managers. We work with partners from the arts and in other sectors to develop strategies and policies, encourage networks, and deliver collaborative programmes and projects.

Here’s a summary of what we are working on currently:

Short Breaks

Designing and delivering 1,200 hours of quality arts experiences for children with disabilities across Dorset. Our programme gives their parents/carers a break. We’ve successfully delivered this Dorset County Council contract since 2015.

Face Forward

We are supporting 40 marginalised young people in North and West Dorset so they can become work-ready. We mentor youngsters aged 15-24 who are not in education, employment or training. Participants take part in creative activities. Led by Ansbury Guidance, this project is funded by the European Social Investment Fund and Big Lottery.

Stepping into Nature

We are a partner in this Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)-led programme. Our job is to deliver health and wellbeing benefits for Dorset’s older people, including those living with dementia and their carers. We provide artist-led workshops and access to outstanding natural landscapes.

Dorset Coastal Connections, People and Places project

Led by Dorset Coast Forum, People and Places is made up of 18 related projects from Christchurch to Lyme Regis.

The projects connect our urban and rural coastal areas, promoting the Dorset coast as a whole. The programme is creating and safeguarding jobs as well as delivering measurable economic, social and environmental benefits.

Little Keep: Cultural Hub

The Arts Development Company’s home in Little Keep is thriving as a business hub. We’re now home to nine creative industry organisations. We provide affordable rent, networking and meeting spaces.

Culture+: Investment and social enterprise training and skills development

A programme supporting artists, arts organisations, and SME tourism businesses to thrive in Dorset. Deliverables include more than 40 free training workshops in 2018-19. Two hundred participants have registered so far. Culture+ invests nearly £1M into Dorset, funded by the ERDF and Arts Council England.

Through Culture+, we are delivering more enterprising approaches and beneficial social impact for the cultural sector. Impacts include:

  • Encouraging the arts and cultural sector to diversify and build new income streams and revenue models. For example, Show and Sell is an intense training and mentoring programme supporting four significant venues in Dorset who are developing ways to pitch themselves and build new business propositions.
  • Training and skills development in establishing social enterprises. Measuring social impact through one-to-one support and workshops with inspirers and facilitators.

Establish new social investment funding models for Dorset

With financial support from the government’s Mutuals Support Programme, we are conducting scoping research into appropriate new investment models and mechanisms for supporting a rural model of investment in the arts and culture. The results of this research will establish unique models as most examples of social investment models are based around large, urban conurbations. We are hoping it may lead to the establishment of a Dorset Cultural Investment Fund.

The research is led by Sarah Forster, CEO and founder of the Good Economy Partnership and Dan Gregory, a leading social enterprise advisor.