Annual Museum Survey 2020

Registration to take part in this year’s Annual Museum Survey is now closed.

164 museums in the South East have agreed to take part, submitted visitor and operational data for the period of 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.

This year the survey will be more important than ever as we seek to gain insights of the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.  The data will provide an important baseline from which the impact of closure and the gradual phased reopening of museums across 2020-21 can be better understood.

Purpose of the Survey

We run this survey to collect data about visitors, the workforce and financial operations in museums that are accredited or formally working towards accreditation.    This information helps us build a picture of the museum sector locally and nationally.    Museums can use the annual report to support evidence-based planning, benchmarking and advocacy.

Find South East’s Annual Museum Survey 2018/19 report here

Deadline to submit completed surveys

For the museums that have already registered to take part this year, the deadline for completing the survey is 18 October 2020.

Survey questions

You may find it useful to consider the survey questions before entering your answers in the online system.   However, it is important to remember that we are using a new online system that enables you to bypass questions that don’t apply to your museum.  That means the list of survey questions will appear longer than what you will experience when completing it online.

We will operate two surveys;

  • one for organisations operating a single site museum
  • one for organisations which operate multiple museums or sites (multisite).

You can find downloadable versions of the online survey questions and accompanying definitions below:

Single site survey questions

Multi site survey questions

Survey question definitions

We have created a FAQ document in Google which we will update each week to answer questions you may have about the survey.

Annual Museum Survey FAQs – V2

Please send any additional questions to

Data and privacy statements

We have commissioned our colleagues at South West Museum Development (Bristol City Council) to operate as the Data Processor of the Annual Museum Survey 2020. Your survey responses will be stored and processed in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations (2018).

No personal information will be published in publicly available reports or datasets or shared with other organisations. As the Data Processor, SWMD will supply the data generated through the survey along with the contact details of the individual providing the data survey return to South East Museum Development.  Our regional privacy policy is provided below:

South East Museum Development Privacy Policy

Data sharing and open source data

Reports based on this survey will be published widely and made available on this webpage and other regional Museum Development providers.  Data provided via the survey will be combined with those of other museums to produce publicly available reports.  The data will support sector advocacy, inform Museum Development business planning and sector wide strategic planning.

The dataset will be published as open source data in 2022 to support further research. The aggregate data set generated by the survey in 2020 will be shared with our main funders, Arts Council England.

The dataset will be published as open source data on Museum Development websites from January 2022 – approximately one year after regional reports are published to support further research.  The datasets will not include financial information or any personal information generated by the survey process.  The aggregate data set generated by the survey in 2020 will be shared with our main funders, Arts Council England.

You can withdraw your consent prior to the publication of reports and data sets, by January 1st 2021, by contacting us:






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