National Motor Museum wins funding for audience development

The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu has been awarded £20,000 by the Charles Burnett Memorial Fund to undertake new in-depth research into the needs of its visitors.

Newly reopened following the easing of restrictions, the National Motor Museum will be utilising this valued funding to develop a detailed audience development plan, to enhance the quality of its engagement in order to appeal to new and existing users.

The Charles Burnett Memorial Fund awards grants to registered charities and not-for-profit organisations in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, with the grant programme administered by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF).

The new audience development plan will inform a range of new activities and displays that are part of ambitious programming plans.

In addition to the experience of its onsite visitors, the National Motor Museum is committed to offsite and digital engagement with users and their communities, and these areas of interaction are an important part of its future plans.

National Motor Museum Trust creative workshop
National Motor Museum Trust creative workshop

This work will help to strengthen the organisation, making it more relevant and resilient.

An audience consultant will be engaged to carry out this important work and to facilitate the development of the Museum’s audience centred approach.

National Motor Museum Trustee Caroline Marcus said: “The Trustees are delighted that the museum has received this generous grant from the Charles Burnett Memorial Fund.

It will enable the museum to research and review its audiences and to devise an audience development plan to support Beaulieu’s strategic ambitions.

“The grant enables the museum to become more responsive, through further engaging audiences in telling the story of motoring past and present through its world-class collections.

The museum looks to engage and inspire diverse audiences including families, children, motoring enthusiasts, local community groups, international and group visitors.

“The funding allows the museum to consult with and respond to its audiences on the effectiveness and social impact of its online virtual engagement, learning programmes, outreach activities, co-curation and partnerships with community organisations.

It will inform more nuanced layered interpretations within the museum displays and influence collecting priorities.”

National Motor Museum Director of Collections & Engagement Andrea Bishop said:

“The museum team are thrilled to have received this grant from the Charles Burnett Memorial Fund.

Our heartfelt thanks go to the Foundation for its generosity and to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation for administrative support.

“The funding will make a real difference at a time when the Museum is looking to the future and needing to learn more about what its audiences want, to inform our planning and ensure our programming is relevant and topical. In addition to offering more to our current audiences, we look forward to reaching out to people who perhaps haven’t engaged with us before and to forging new partnerships in the local community and far beyond.”

Kate Shurety, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation Interim CEO said: “We would like to thank the family of Charles Burnett for setting up this legacy with the Foundation, which has been established to support charitable projects across the region.

Charles Burnett resided at Newtown Park House near Lymington and in his lifetime was a generous philanthropist, enthusiastically supporting a wide range of great local causes.

“We know that the Covid-19 crisis has impacted hugely on the charitable sector, and these grants will make a big difference to the services and resources of local organisations and the people they support.”

For more information about the National Motor Museum Trust collections, please visit