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Surrey, East & West Sussex


The sub-region is made up of the counties of Surrey, East Sussex, West Sussex and the unitary authority of Brighton and Hove. We now support 107 museums of all types:

  • 20 Local Authority-owned
  • 69 Independent Charitable Trusts
  • 3 University
  • 3 Military
  • 11 National Trust
  • 1 English Heritage

Of these, 82 are either fully or provisionally Accredited, or formally ‘Working towards Accreditation’ under the Arts Council England Accreditation Scheme.

We also support or work with a number of important networks in the sub-region:

1. The SEWS Museums Leaders Forum

2. The SEWS Facilities Managers Forum

3. The Surrey Museums Partnership (SMP)

4. The Sussex Museums Group (SMG)

5. The Learning Liaison Forum (LLF) – supporting museum staff and volunteers and others linked with the delivering of learning activities within Sussex and Surrey

6. The Museums of Surrey Education Group (MuSE) – supporting staff and volunteers delivering learning activities within or on behalf of museums in Surrey

Flourish Fundraising event, 6th April 2017 at the Lightbox, Woking

This sharing workshop for SEWS museums drew on the learning of the Flourish Project - (a two year partnership between Chiltern Open Air Museum, Didcot Railway Centre, Tring Local History Museum and consultants Culture Force) that developed fundraising ideas through innovative approaches in smaller museums without professional fundraising staff.

Download Flourish_Sharing_Day_light_box_6_April_2017_v2.pptx...

SEWS Programme 2016-17

In delivering museum development to museums across Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex, we want to challenge museums to be more imaginative and creative, and to develop a clearer understanding of their purpose, as the two golden threads running through all museum development. In particular, we will focus our work around four key themes:

  • Active Collections: Excellent practice in collections management care, access and interpretation
  • Great Experiences: Effective communication of a multi-faceted offer, providing real life-long learning, engaging diverse communities and contributing to social agendas
  • Better Business: Enterprising and income savvy, building relevant fundraising with a mature approach to finance management
  • Strong Leadership: Pro-active leaders, developing a diverse and skilled workforce, addressing succession planning through continual improvement

As part of this years programme we are offering SEWS Development Grants and CPD Bursaries to museum projects and training that address these themes.

Volunteers in Learning & Public Engagement 2016-17

This Surrey, East & West Sussex Museum Development funded opportunity continues with our aim to support museums to develop sustainable practices in volunteer management. This new programme gives museums 2 days of bespoke on site training to up-skill volunteers & volunteer managers who have a responsibility to deliver or contribute to learning sessions and who engage with the public more generally. Details here

Effective Retail in Small Museums 2016-7

This project is being piloted in the BOB and SEWS sub regions in 2016/7. It consists of 3 elements:

1. A purchasing syndicate for museums with a turnover of c.£15,000 or less – providing access to reduced purchasing costs on shop merchandise (launched September 2016). Please contact the syndicate co-ordinator for futher information

2. How-to guides on for small museums on:

Please see below for downloads

3. Retail audits and action plans for individual museums. SEWS museums should contact their MDO for further information about how to participate in this stage.

Effective Retail in Small Museums 2017-8

Museum Retail: a practical refresher for Smaller Museums, 7th November, Bexhill, East Sussex. Tuesday 7th November 2017

Download the slides from the presentations here.

Previous Programme

SEWS Activity