What is South West Visitor Insights?

A woman with a high vis jacket holds an ipad, sits outside smiling with two people

South West Visitor Insights is our audience evaluation programme for museums and cultural organisations. The programme helps organisations to gain an understanding of their audiences and build an evidence base of knowledge to support their work.

Built in collaboration with a range of museums and heritage organisations, South West Visitor Insights provides a scalable and sustainable approach to audience evaluation that operates in harmony with day to day operational activities.

Using South West Visitor Insights will help you to:

  • Have a clear understanding of who their current audiences are
  • Increase their audiences by targeting and tailoring their offer
  • Write informed, evidence based funding applications
  • Advocate to current and potential partners about the reach of their audiences
  • Prioritise areas of work e.g. programming and outreach
  • Spend limited marketing budgets more effectively
  • Engage with new audiences locally and nationally
  • Understand why people engage, what their interests are and what they value
  • Understand the impact of tourism on their audiences

South West Visitor Insights 2023

This year, thanks to Arts Council England funding, we have bee able to provide subsidised places on the programme to 10 Accredited Museums in the South West. Applications for these places were through an Expression of Interest and we are pleased to be working with:

  • Axbridge Museum, Somerset
  • Bridport Museum, Dorset
  • Blandford Museum, Dorset
  • Chard Museum, Dorset
  • Museum of Dartmoor Life, Devon
  • Nothe Fort, Dorset
  • REME Museum, Wiltshire
  • Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum
  • Tiverton Museum of Mid-Devon Life, Devon
  • Weymouth Museum, Dorset

Being part of the 2023 cohort has enabled these museums to come together to share best practice in audience evaluation; for training and learning; and for peer networking opportunities. Each museum is being supported by our Audience Development Officer, Rachel Miller, who leads the South West Visitor Insights programme.

Surveys will close for the participant museums in early November. Each museum will receive a full data report, which has been designed to present their data clearly and with impact. Our Audience Development Officer, with help from our local place-based Museum Development Officers, will support the 2023 cohort to implement their data findings, providing them with the expertise to inform audience development and engagement plans and strategies, alongside practical advice on how to articulate their work to funders and stakeholders by using their data as an evidence base.


Museums, heritage and other cultural organisations can also participate in the South West Visitor Insights programme on a consultancy basis. We can provide dedicated audience evaluation support to individual organisations, with the potential to be incorporated into project grant applications. We can also provide audience and/or project evaluation support to multi-organisational, locality-based, community or partner projects, which may be externally-funded, across the South West.

If you would like find out more about South West Visitor Insights, including consultancy, then please get in touch.