AUDIENCE development and activity planning
We have built up an extensive experience of producing successful Heritage Lottery Fund Activity Plans for a wide range of organisations from museums, to parks, heritage sites and galleries. We help to guide clients through all stages of Activity Planning, from exploring all aspects of audience-facing activity and helping to develop and support new innovative methods and means of engagement, to examining how the organisation can best deliver the planned activities. We are proud that our Activity Plans are designed not only to meet the HLF requirements but to work for the client, providing a feasible and practical document that can be used to inform future planning.
Audience development is a particular specialism of our practice. In this capacity we regularly deliver primary audience research in the form of surveys, focus groups and bespoke consultation with visitors and non-visitors in order to assist organisations to understand their audiences and to determine how to address the specific barriers to participation that they encounter. Drawing a more diverse audience base is the key audience development aim sought by museums, galleries and other heritage attractions across the UK and often a core requirement amongst funders.
The Royal Armouries is Britain’s oldest public museum and home to the National Collection of Arms and Armour. There are three Royal Armouries sites located in the UK: at Clarence Dock in Leeds; Fort Nelson near Fareham; and within the iconic White Tower at the Tower of London. At the time of our commission Royal Armouries was undergoing an exciting development programme across its sites, designed to improve visitor experience and enhance the public's knowledge of their national heritage. Fort Nelson had recently benefited from a £3.5m transformation, supported by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of around £2m, and further improvements were planned for the Leeds museum. In support of this work, Jura Consultants carried out extensive audience research, particularly in relation to the Leeds site.
Phase 1 of the research involved detailed audience analysis and profiling, via the medium of visitor and non-visitor surveys and the development of ‘target diagrams’ through audience segmentation analysis to illustrate the results. Here it became apparent that each of the RA museums attracts different visitor types by virtue of their respective locations which provided Royal Armouries with valuable feedback regarding the impact of the investment at Fort Nelson and the baseline for audience development at Leeds. Phase 2 involved focus group research at RA Leeds in order to further investigate through qualitative means the quantitative Phase 1 findings at this site. As a result of Phase 1 and Phase 2 an Audience Development Plan was produced for RA Leeds. The results of the Audience Development Plan at the Leeds museum were then used to inform further audience development across their sites.
As an additional third phase to the project, Jura Consultants subsequently performed visitor surveys, focus groups and in-gallery interviews in relation to new interpretive plans for one of the galleries at the Leeds site. The findings of these fed directly in to the Audience Development Plan previously produced and thus further informed museum-wide development at the site.