older people are sat on chairs on the beach facing a band. There are 5 in the band and they're playing instruments

Arts and Culture is vital for everyone. It shapes our communities, improves our wellbeing and creatively solves some of our most immediate global issues. We at the Arts Development Company strengthen the arts and culture sector and develop innovative, collaborative and creative solutions that transform people, place and community.

We do this by:

  • Commissioning new arts events, experiences and public spaces
  • Exploring and sharing innovative ways to fund arts and culture in the UK
  • Connecting arts and culture with business, tourism, health and environment sectors
  • Supporting the development of the arts and culture sector through networks, resources and mentoring
  • Sharing our experiences and expertise to develop new arts development companies in the UK
  • Advocating for the enormous impact and value of arts and culture, both in Dorset and nationally

About us

We are an independent Community Interest Company which formed in 2015 after staff spun out of Dorset County Council.

We manage a creative hub in Dorchester called the Little Keep which has eight tenants including arts and cultural charities and third sector organisations.

We currently retain a service level agreement with Dorset Council to deliver arts development across Dorset.

We have worked internationally since 2019, partnering with another social enterprise in Bali, Indonesia to promote and support creatives with disabilities. 


Mental health, social isolation and unemployment are all pressing and immediate issues. We aim to improve people’s wellbeing and increase their life chances through creative participatory workshops and courses.

Meaningful and sustainable public spaces can unify a community, increase tourism and improve wellbeing. Through our placemaking projects we want to support villages, towns and cities to create enjoyable public spaces.

Everyone should have access to high-quality arts and culture. We identify gaps in the arts and culture on offer and find creative solutions for the Local Authorities and organisations to address these inequalities.

Arts and culture needs to be resilient to change. We continue to broker partnerships between the arts and other sectors to find new funding streams to strengthen the sector and secure the future of arts and culture in Dorset and beyond.