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Development of Our Learning Reach

Invest in the development of our learning reach by creating excellent, engaging, informative and enjoyable experiences that are relevant to wide ranging audiences and aligned to our charitable objectives.

Recent investment in external professional support reviewed our core visitor product, our market potential and competition analysis which has refined our focus on areas of opportunity.  Development of these ideas in line with increased marketing investment will lead to ever higher satisfaction and increased, but manageable, volumes.  The evidence collated via the independent consultancy study indicates that in order to achieve our objective we must continue to develop the site as a place that families feel ever more comfortable and safe.

Building on the consultations with users and the research undertaken by our professional advisors, we believe that we can substantially develop our learning reach by creating excellent, engaging, informative and enjoyable experiences that are relevant to wide ranging audiences and aligned to our charitable objectives.  Continuing to use the buildings, ships and galleries on site as our primary resource but increasing our focus on outreach via physical and digital means.

We will meet this goal through:

  1. Recognising the need to satisfy new audiences, develop the visitor attraction further to create an environment that is playful, exemplary, relaxing, creative, diverse and destination-focused whilst improving the experience for existing users.
  2. Investing in continuous improvement across the Historic Dockyard site – 1,000 small improvements that collectively make a big impact.
  3. Using our real and unique heritage assets as the foundation to improve all engagement whether real or virtual.
  4. Maintaining our position as a fully accredited museum, managing collections according to best practice
  5. Recognising our independent status requiring cost and income to be balanced, develop a visitor attraction that is focussed on delivery against our Learning charitable objective in relevant and audience appropriate ways.
  6. Embracing and investing in digital technology and outreach programmes to enhance our learning message on site and to diverse audiences across the world – recognising that our core asset is the authentic experience of visiting the site.
  7. Further developing formal education programmes, outreach and activities – working in partnership with schools and local Universities.


In meeting our Learning goal, we have set the following objectives:

  • Maintain accredited museum status and secure Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation status for a 2nd term (2022) – reinforcing the Trust’s position as a leading museum on a national level whilst also playing a leadership role in wider cultural and museum activity in the South East, Kent and Medway.
  • Develop and implement a digital engagement strategy formed on the foundation of introductory work that has already taken place. Using digitised collections, along with inspiring stories, develop new audiences to engage with the Historic Dockyard, both physically as visitors and virtually as digital participants.  By 2025, we will actively engage digitally with over 500,000 people.
  • Continue to provide exemplar learning experiences through greater engagement with schools, family-focussed learning opportunities, the use of mobile outreach activities and continued partnerships with Medway’s Universities – reaching over 25,000 people per annum by the end of 2023.
  • Use both self-generated income and innovative fundraising to:
    • Further enhance the Ropery Gallery and surrounding complex to meet the standards of excellence in other gallery spaces across the site, increasing capacity and accessibility for all users by 2021.
    • Interpret our historic warships in more detail as examples of the work the Royal Dockyards and the role played by such ships though the three centuries they represent – integrating 19th and 20th Century collections to help tell the story.
  • By June 2021, undertake feasibility studies into proposed future uses for No.3 Covered Slip that may include the integration of a family learning facility that explores the process of wooden ship construction in an engaging and family focussed way.
  • Building on excellent foundations, raise standards of our visitor experience, benchmarked against peers, to ensure sustained improvement across the site. Maintain our quality assurance accreditations from TripAdvisor (Certificate of Excellence) and Visit England Quality Assurance Scheme Gold (VAQAS) every year.
  • Ensure that our buildings and the Dockyard environment, remain engaging parts of the visitor experience, recognised through increased awareness from our visitors, measured through research undertaken after a visit has taken place.
  • In line with the development of a new Environmental Impact Strategy, develop a series of educational programmes that will highlight our commitment to the environment and share our experiences of developing bio-diversity in urban landscapes. Programmes to be developed following the completion of the Environmental Impact Strategy in December 2020.