Arts and culture is vital for everyone. It shapes our environment, improves our wellbeing and brings people together.

The Arts Development Company connect arts, health, business and environment sectors together, to deliver experiences that change lives.

We champion equality and diversity at all levels in the Arts and Culture sector.

We explore and share innovative ways to fund arts and culture in the U.K to ensure it has a sustainable and thriving future.


From April 2018 to March 2019 we have worked with 35 partners and 15 funders and reached 6910 participants and visitors.



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 unite 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 other 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.


Babigloo Music for Babies

In the U.K, 1 in 5 women develop mental health problems during pregnancy or in the first year after childbirth. Social isolation, post-natal depression and anxiety are common for new families, and access to effective help is vital.

We help to tackle this in Dorset by supporting Babigloo, a programme that improves the mental health of parents, carers and their babies through music making.

Find out more >

Dorset Coastal Connections

Our coastline is a busy place and provides many things to different groups of people. Local communities should feel a sense of belonging and connection to their home, tourists need to feel welcomed and cared for and the coast should be sustainably maintained.

We’re currently working on ‘Dorset Coastal Connections’ with Dorset Coast Forum, a series of projects that aim to improve physical, digital and emotional connections between both residents and visitors and the spectacular
Dorset Coast.

Find out more >

Libraries as Cultural Hubs

Public libraries provide a vital, free space where people can learn and socialise, and they can also reduce loneliness and social isolation.

However, in 2017/18 only 33% of adults had used a public library service and between 2010 and 2016, 343
libraries closed, much higher than the government’s estimate of 110.

We’re working with Dorset Libraries to expand what libraries offer and to evolve them into cultural hubs.

Find out more >


As a recent report from Arts Council England shows, the arts and culture sector is a significant contributor to the UK’s economy. In 2016, it added £10.8bn and has now overtaken agriculture in GDP contribution.

We want to see creative businesses thrive in Dorset and beyond. Our Culture+ programme is dedicated to sharing innovative and enterprising training, mentoring and free resources.

Find out more >


From April 2018 – March 2019

  • Our turnover increased by 13% in the year to 31 March 2019, mostly due to the procurement of contracts to deliver strategic arts initiatives in Dorset and beyond.
    • We returned a trading profit after tax of £64,000. This will go towards achieving the company’s reserves of 6 months running costs. Reserves build financial resilience against funding cuts and general economic instability, and they bridge the gap between the spending and receiving of income and to cover unplanned expenditure.

2018-19 has been another successful year with continued growth and ongoing stability


Illustrations by Bridie Cheeseman