• Somerset Rural Life Museum © SWMD / Amanda Harman Photography
    Somerset Rural Life Museum © SWMD / Amanda Harman Photography

What We Do

The South West Museum Development (SWMD) Programme offers a range of advice, support and development opportunities to Accredited museums and those working towards Accreditation across the South West.

Are you a museum in the South West? Use this downloadable SWMD Support Map to find out how we can help you.

Support services include:

Museum Development Officers
Museum Development Officers (MDO) provide high quality professional sector support and advice to help museums and heritage organisations in their area. There are 10 MDOs based locally across the South West, find your local MDO.

Audience Development
Targeted support for museums, working with them to collect, understand and apply audience data more effectively. In partnership with the Audience Agency and led by our Audience and Insights Officer Rachel Kavanagh.

Conservation and Collection Care
Led by the Conservation Development Officer, Helena Jaeschke, the service provides specialist advice and support to help museums improve the care and management of their collections.

Digital Engagement
Our Digital Engagement Officer Sarah Madden provides a specialist advisory service to support museums to maximise the benefits presented by digital tools to broaden engagement with museum collections.

Volunteering and Workforce
Led by Sustainable Volunteering Officer, Eleanor Moore, who acts as the regional coordinator for the dissemination of good practice and support for volunteer involvement. Eleanor convenes the Museum Volunteering Forum, a community of practice for those with volunteer involvement as a key part of their role.

Organisational Development
Piloting the introduction of new programmes including

Current live projects include:

SWMD consultancy services include:

Annual Data Service
The SWMD Annual Survey of Museums was created in 2012 to establish a baseline of data on museums in the region, and is used to analyse and report on trends over time. We are commissioned to deliver the survey for other museum development providers with the intention of providing consistent data across multiple regions. Contact Audience and Insights Officer, Rachel Kavanagh, to find out more or download our latest survey report.