Royal Air Force Museum London

In December 2014 the Royal Air Force Museum in London launched its new permanent exhibition ‘First World War in the Air’ exploring the compelling story of the role, significance and influence of aviation during the Great War. The Heritage Lottery Fund was a key partner in the project providing support as part of its First World War Centenary activity. Evaluating the project, including specifically the profile of visitors engaging with the project, is a requirement by the funder. Jura Consultants was commissioned to perform and analyse in-gallery research with visitors to the exhibition in order for the RAF Museum to fulfil this requirement. In response to the study brief Jura Consultants devised a methodology that would deliver added benefit to the Royal Air Force Museum by producing a tool based on audience segmentation analysis providing more in-depth understanding of audience groups and a tool that can be used to guide and inform future audience development decisions and actions . Visitor consultation was performed via in-gallery surveys conducted over a variety of ‘day types’ in order to ensure a sample representative of the Museum’s population. Sample size exceeded the minimum required for statistical accuracy and the survey included both closed and open questions in order to generate the required level of insight. Outputs of the study included a full report analysing the responses complete with the statistical information required for the completion of the post-project evaluation, and the development of ‘target diagrams’ with supporting narrative describing the motivations, behaviour and profile of segmented audience groups to the exhibition.



Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums/South Tyneside Council

South Tyneside Council has embarked on an ambitious redevelopment project that will open new venues in South Shields, improve the public realm, and enhance the overall offer to locals and particularly visitors.  As part of this programme, the council, through Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, commissioned a review of two of South Shields’ flagship visitor attractions, Arbeia Roman Fort and the very successful local history museum, South Shields Museum and Art Gallery. The review aimed to test the development potential of both attractions within the particular context of the wider redevelopment of the town’s offer.

Jura Consultants lead a team including interpretive planners and designers to review the current performance of both sites, undertake an audit of facilities, interpretation and visitor experience, and appraise development options that would make the most of each site’s potential. For Arbeia Roman Fort, we developed a progressive model that achieved the council’s immediate aim of improving the site, with a medium-term capital project to follow that will see the site take its full place amid the other attractions on the Roman Frontiers (Hadrian’s Wall) World Heritage Site.

 For South Shields Museum and Art Gallery, we proposed a long-term project to reconfigure spaces and thus ensure the continued performance and sustainability of the site in the context of much increased competition from other sites due to the council’s development projects in the town. Beside full appraisal of capital costs and revenue, we also provided a funding programme.

In 2016 Arbeia Roman Fort was awarded £150,000 from DCMS/Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund.



Aberdeen City Council in partnership with Muse Developments

Dating from 1545, Provost Skene’s House (PSH) is one of Aberdeen’s few remaining examples of early burgh architecture. For five centuries it has witnessed enormous change, both in its own structure and in the social, economic and political changes with have affected the city. Positioned at the centre of medieval Aberdeen and now at the heart of a significant commercial development across Marischal Square, PSH is uniquely placed to explore the considerable change which has affected the city and its people over the past 500 years.

As part of the commercial redevelopment of Marischal Square being delivered by Muse Developments, Aberdeen City Council (ACC) aspires to revitalise PSH, creating a first rate heritage attraction capable of drawing a greater volume and more diverse range of audiences. Working alongside design consultants, Studioarc, Jura Consultants was commissioned to assess the visitor market potential for the redeveloped PSH exploring the scale of the visitor market, identifying key audience segments which would support ACC’s audience development objectives, and calculating a potential visit number forecast. Our findings draw from extensive consultation performed with both previous visitors and non-visitors through survey research and segmentation analysis pertaining to key target audience groups borne from this. Our study findings directly informed the emerging design proposals and became the basis from which the business case for investment was prepared.



Historic Royal Palaces

Jura Consultants were commissioned to undertake a Visitor Markets study for Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland. The Castle is the first property managed by Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) outside of London. The study included an in-depth appraisal of the visitor market, as well as quantitative surveys with visitors at the Castle, and non-visitors in Belfast, Republic of Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom. The surveys were developed on the basis of a review of previous audience research for Hillsborough Castle, and designed so that comparison was possible. The final report included analysis on the basis of HRP’s Culture Segment audience segmentation model, and provided an update to previous research. The combined results provided information to be used in HRP’s Business Plan, Marketing and Communications Strategies, Activity Plan and Outline Interpretation Plan, which in turn will be the foundation for a funding application to the Heritage Lottery Fund.



City of Edinburgh Council

The Museum of Childhood was the first museum in the world dedicated to the history of childhood and holds a vast collection of 60,000 objects relating to all aspects of childhood. Today the collections are housed in two heritage buildings located prominently in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town on the Royal Mile. Having witnessed little investment for three decades, City of Edinburgh Council Museums and Galleries took the decision to begin a capital investment programme at the site, commencing with the refurbishment of Gallery One. Jura Consultants was commissioned to assess the visitor market potential for the museum, specifically relating to the redevelopment of Gallery One, but also looking ahead to a potential museum-wide improvement. Our methodology included primary research with visitors to the site and non-visitors in the area alongside a comprehensive market appraisal exploring the museum’s current position and potential within the Edinburgh market. The study was completed in collaboration with Studioarc who simultaneously developed detailed design proposals for the gallery within a wider interpretive plan for the museum overall. The findings of the market research directly informed Studioarc’s proposals highlighting key elements of the visitor offer which could draw particular segments in order to support the audience development aspirations of Edinburgh Museums and Galleries. The museum re-opened to the public in March 2018.



Historic Environment Scotland

Jura Consultants were commissioned to undertake an in-depth audit of the interpretation and access provision at the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site (HONO WHS), supported by stakeholder consultation. The audit covered the four HONO WHS core sites of Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar, the Stones of Stenness and Maeshowe, as well as three key sites in the WHS buffer zone, namely Barnhouse Village, Skaill House and Unstan Chambered Cairn. Other relevant sites such as the Bay of Skaill, Ness of Brodgar, Lochside View, and Orkney Museum were also considered. The audit formed part of an information gathering phase for a wider project to develop an Interpretation and Access Strategy for HONO WHS. The study involved review of documents, from which project-specific assessment criteria were developed in addition to good practice, and a desk assessment of the online provision for HONO WHS, which took account particularly of support for planning a visit and pre-and post-visit engagement. Extended site visits formed the core part of the study; these were followed up with consultation with key institutional stakeholders that are involved in the management of the HONO WHS. The study provided an objective assessment of the existing infrastructure with particular regard to the WHS as an entity, and made recommendations for areas of focus for future work, including specific needs for targeted research and opportunities to connect existing or planned provision. A separate study provided an inventory of all learning provision relating to the HONO WHS.


SSE Pitlochry

In 2012, Jura Consultants was commissioned alongside our colleagues, Campbell and Co. Design Consultants to undertake a review of SSE’s existing visitor facilities. This review led to a proposal to construct a new visitor centre at Pitlochry to showcase the history of the hydro-electric scheme located there and SSE’s corporate heritage. Following detailed project and business planning, SSE approved the initial concept and the project proceeded to the delivery phase. Work on site completed in late 2016 and the centre opened to the public in February 2017.



Braemar Community Ltd

Braemar Castle is a compact tower house with a fascinating history dating back almost 400 years. With its crenelated battlements and star-shaped curtain wall, it has all the romantic aesthetic of a Highland castle, while its interiors present a welcoming and comfortable mid-century family home. Braemar Community Ltd (BCL) has leased the site and run it as a visitor attraction since 2007. During this time BCL secured funding to deliver various structural repairs and has overseen a number of visitor experience improvements which has transformed the Castle’s performance increasing visit volume by more than 300%. In order to move on to the next stage of development, BCL commissioned Jura Consultants to conduct a review of the current visitor experience and identify opportunities that would enhance the site’s long-term sustainability. As part of our methodology we prepared a long-list and then short-list of potential developments assessing each in terms of their desirability, sustainability and deliverability. The resultant report was an Outline Masterplan setting out development packages phased over the next six years. Since this study we have continued to work with BCL to determine the detail of a project forming one of the key phases of the Masterplan.