Two years after we were formed, The Arts Development Company in Dorset have successfully expanded our income sources and secured significant long-term contracts. The figures show we are building a sustainable future.

The Arts Development Company leads arts development in Dorset. We are an independent, employee-owned community interest company. We were formed in 2015 from the county council’s arts team. Our pioneering organisation is the only one of its kind in the UK.

Growing demand for services

Paid for (as opposed to grant funded) activity increased by 18% during our second year. This reflected a growing demand for our services.

Diversification is a priority. When we began in 2015, we received a grant from Dorset County Council that represented 45% of our business. Today, the proportion has dropped to 22%. This demonstrates a widening demand for our work in Dorset.

Careful management has produced a surplus of income over expenditure in both financial years since we ‘spun out’ from the county.

A good return

Mike Hoskin, CEO, said: ‘These figures demonstrate that people across Dorset are getting a good return on Dorset County Council’s grant funding. For every £1 we get from the county, we are adding at least £4 from other funding sources.

‘We believe in the power of the arts to transform lives. We know the positive impact the arts have on health and communities – studies have proved that participation in the arts helps us live longer, happier lives.

‘By working collaboratively, our work also helps to bring in more funding for artists and arts organisations in the county.

‘The Arts Development Company seeks to bring the benefits of the arts to everyone in Dorset.’

Sunflowers Swanage

Sunflower Trail: Children from St Mark’s primary school and volunteers from Emmanuel Baptist Church in Swanage bagged up 150 sunflowers as part of The Arts Development Company’s work with Durlston Country Park. The sunflower bags have been placed along the path from Herston to Durlston to guide people along the 1.5-mile route, which is hard to follow in places.
‘The sunflowers will bring a bright and warm feeling to passers-by who are trying to find their way,’ said Macy, aged 11.
The flowers were all grown from seeds planted earlier in the year by every child at St Mark’s and people in the Herston area. The soil was donated by Eco Sustainable Solutions of Christchurch and the jute coffee sacks were given by coffee companies Lincoln & York and Masteroast.
Photo shows Taylor, age nine, helping to plant the sunflowers.