Annual Museum Survey 2020

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Annual Museum Survey 2020.

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

This year the survey results are more important than ever as we gain insights on the museum sector in the south east just before the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic were felt. The data provides an important baseline from which the impact of closure and the gradual phased reopening of museums across 2020-21 can be better understood.

Please browse a fully interactive copy of the Annual Museum Survey 2020 Report in the next section, or you can download a PDF copy below.

Annual Museum Survey Report 2020 South East.PDF

You will also find some further resources for you to use in your advocacy and benchmarking work below the report.


Annual Museum Survey Resources

We have provided snapshot data on each sub-region within the south east extracted from the 2020 report. On these PDF documents you will find data on the economic impact, visitor numbers and the workforces of museums in each sub-region, extracted and weighted from the full Annual Museum Survey data from the south east.

What does a local authority museum look like in the south east?

What does an Independent Museum look like in the south east?

What does a Museum in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire or Berkshire look like?

What does a Museum in Hampshire Solent look like?

What does a Museum in Surrey or Sussex look like?

We have also created some infographics based on data from the report which you are welcome to download and use for your own communications and reporting.

South east museum workforce infographic

Economic Impact of museums in the south east infographic

Volunteers infographic

Visitor statistics infographic

Equality & diversity planning infographic

We will be adding more infographics over time, please do get in touch if we can produce content which would support you and your museum.

If you would like further detail on your museum’s Annual Museum Survey submission or on any other aspect of the 2020 report please get in touch with us at

Purpose of the Annual Museum Survey

Museum Development regions across the UK run the Annual Museum 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

Data and privacy statements

We 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 were 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.

Accessibility Options

The following options may make it easier for you to use this website

Change the contrast of colours and text

Change the size of the size of the text

Toggle the display of images