Museum and heritage projects

Museum income generationAs museum business planning consultants, we have worked on a range of projects across the museum and wider heritage sectors. A significant amount of our work is focussed on helping clients to create more resilient organisations. This can take many forms, from enhancing governance arrangements including partnership working, through to identifying and assessing opportunities to generate additional income, reducing expenditure, marketing initiatives, developing the capacity of Trusts and organisations and evaluating opportunities related to physical development.

Whilst a number of museums, heritage and other sites can attract high levels of footfall, they face a number of significant financial challenges. The conservation and restoration of the historic fabric buildings (and collections) is ongoing, the cost of seemingly small repair jobs can quickly escalate. This can often only be met through an injection of large capital investment, which in part can potentially be sourced through the National Heritage Lottery Fund, private donations and philanthropy.

Museums and heritage organisations have also suffered from cuts to core funding which not only impacts on the ability to plan for the future but also on the day-to-day operation of the sites which they manage. This can lead to an under-investment in the individual sites and long-term maintenance and repairs can be impacted on which in turn may lead to a decline in the quality of the visitor experience.

It is important to recognise that creating a more resilient organisation is not without its own challenges. Additionally, some museums and heritage organisations also have a small core team of professional staff, which may only have limited ‘staff resource’ to take on new projects. It takes investment, specific resources (often including recruiting new staff with specialist capabilities), it takes time to build capacity and potentially a change in the culture of the organisation.  Find out more about our heritage and museum projects here.

Some of the museum and heritage projects we have worked on include:

  • Forty Hall Estate, Enfield Council: Preparation of a business development study with financial analysis
  • Novium Museum, Chichester District Council: Post-opening operational review and production of a marketing action plan
  • Moira Furnace Museum and Country Park, North West Leicestershire District Council: Market assessment and options appraisal
  • Tenby Museum and Art Gallery Museum: Governance evaluation and location assessment
  • Tenby Museum and Art Gallery Museum: Income generation
  • The Pavilion Gardens, High Peak Borough Council/Staffordshire Moorlands District Council: Operational review and income generation
  • 22-heritage assets, Southampton City Council: Identification and evaluation of the income generation potential of heritage assets
  • George Eliot Visitor Centre, Warwickshire County Council: Business plan for a George Elliot Heritage Centre
  • Carew Castle and Tidal Mill, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority: Business Plan

While we don’t prepare activity plans, interpretation plans or designs, we regularly work with activity planners, interpretation experts, conservation architects and designers.

Added value: Direct operational experience
Our sister company, Planning Solutions Limited, has invested in and manages a number of heritage attractions and other visitor centres. These include the National Brewery Centre (2010 to October 2022), formerly know as the Bass Museum, which is integrated within the wider working Molson Coors Brewery site in Burton upon Trent, Kent Life – a heritage farm park in Maidstone, CONKERS a discovery centre in the National Forest and the Cotswold Beach and Country Park. PSL is responsible for all aspects of managing these businesses from staffing through to marketing and day-to-day operations. This includes the catering, retail, events, education, guided tours, collections, corporate activities and all other activities.

Clients have said a few words about our work:
“We commissioned PSC to support our client team comprising County Council officers, and volunteers from the George Eliot Fellowship, and Griff House Preservation Trust, to develop a viable business plan for a new Visitor Centre devoted to the author, based at Griff House, just outside Nuneaton. The work involved close collaboration and consultation with the Trust and wider Eliot stakeholders to work through the business plan and also deliver a longer-term vision and development plan for related Eliot attractions in the area. Throughout the process we found Richard and Kevin accessible, reliable and great to work with, always meeting agreed deadlines. Their work on the options appraisal was extremely thorough and well-informed, drawing both on their valuable in-house operational management experience of running heritage attractions, as well as case studies from other centres across Britain. The final report has been extremely well received and we’re looking forward to sharing the findings more widely at a workshop later this year. I would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending PSC to undertake similar work.” Alex Holmes, Visitor Economy Manager, Warwickshire County Council

“Planning Solutions Consulting offered a responsive service in the review of Pavilion Gardens, bringing to the project a large range of experience in the visitor attraction marketplace. They advised on current performance and assessed it against best practise, using relevant examples of how performance was increased elsewhere. They made several on site visitors and worked with HPBC on assessing the options for any operational changes which might have complimented the pending construction project. They helped increase HPBC understanding of the asset itself and its place within the wider context of visitor attraction and hospitality.” Paul Hare, Assets Manager High Peak Borough Council/Staffordshire Moorlands District Council

Contact us
If you have any questions or would like to discuss our business planning and income generation work within the heritage and museum sector please don’t hesitate to call Richard Linington on 07866 742628 or email