Our aims

We are here to support museums in the South West inline with our five strategic aims

South West Museum Development Programme

We are museum development specialists working with the  heritage sector in the South West of England to effect positive, lasting change and deliver public value. Together, we create opportunities which build confidence and skills, encourage innovation, and celebrate our heritage and culture.

You can find out more about our work and the impact it has by reading our Annual Review or watching our 2018-22 highlights video below:


Our Business Plan sets out five key aims which drive our work:

1) To be connected and networked

We coordinate and collaborate with museums for greater impact and positive change. Together we are stronger, more sustainable and extra effective.

2) To build capacity through effective skills development

Capacity building through skills development is critical to an effective and healthy sector that is able to realise its potential. It enables us to increase the confidence, capability and wellbeing of the museum workforce.

3) To communicate the value of heritage

We use credible sector intelligence and insights in order to amplify the value of heritage and collections. Museum Development South West has a critical role to play in articulating how museums contribute to a sustainable society – economically, environmentally and socially.

4) To take an active role in the green recovery

The cultural sector has a responsibility to reduce its own carbon footprint. Museums and heritage organisations also have a distinct opportunity to provide a space for, and contribute to, the wider debate on the impact of the climate crisis through their collections. See our Green Action Plan.

5) To prioritise opportunities that increase inclusion and tackle inequality

Our sector has a responsibility, as well as an opportunity, to play an important part in shining a light on key issues about race, gender and class, as well as to support our communities to find opportunities for common ground and a fairer future.