Local people who have attended open gardens and arts events at Springhead, those who have hired the venue for private functions, teachers who have brought groups of pupils for residential trips, and other local organisations and charities that work with Springhead are among those who recently took part in our ‘audience research’ survey and are helping us plan Springhead’s future.
‘We’re really grateful to all those who took part in the survey in December and January’ says Director Edward Parker, ‘as we now have a better understanding of who comes to Springhead, why they visit and support us, and what we can do to improve our site and services.’ The research should also help the charity with fundraising, by providing evidence of how people benefit from their visits, and identifying what the charity needs funding for.
Overall, the research found that people are generally very satisfied with their experience, and particularly appreciate Springhead’s tranquil gardens, beautiful lake and peaceful setting. There are also high levels of satisfaction with support from staff and with the environmental ethos. The majority of visitors agree that visiting Springhead enhances their quality of life, is important for their health and wellbeing, and that as a result of visiting, they feel closer to nature.
Areas for future investment which were identified through the survey included making improvements to the buildings and facilities – particularly for those needing overnight accommodation. Visitors also said they would like to see a greater range of events including more music events and outdoor performances, more social events, and more opportunities for the public to visit the gardens. Other suggestions included a wider range of volunteering opportunities including those for younger people, more links with local communities, and improved marketing to raise Springhead’s profile.
The trustees and staff recognise that these sorts of changes will require significant planning and investment, and are developing a new management plan as well as exploring funding opportunities to enable the charity to grow and develop. They also understand that it will be vital to keep talking to those who visit, benefit from, work with and live near Springhead.
The audience research survey was carried out with the support of evaluation specialists Shephard and Moyes Ltd, with funding from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage.
Pictured: Tibetan Monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery providing an evening of chant, mantras, music and dance at Springhead in 2018