Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton and Hove Business Model

Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton and Hove Business Model

By Julie Aldridge
Pam Jarvis


Julie Aldridge and Pam Jarvis explore how Brighton Royal Pavilion and Museums have reviewed their vision and business model in a bid to become more relevant and resilient.

Brighton Royal Pavilion and Museums have been reviewing their vision and business model to enable them to remain relevant to the people they want to connect with and to become more resilient in an ever-changing world.

The Director, Janita Bagshawe, has overall responsibility for five museums across Brighton and Hove. She recently took part in the AMA’s Future Proof Museums (RPM) programme. During sessions which involved other Royal Pavilion and Museums team members she identified that the optimal future for their business model involved each of the five sites clearly “finding its own voice”.

The Royal Pavilion is a true icon for the city — reflecting a culture that is cutting edge, eccentric, creative, tolerant, diverse and playful. Its iconic architecture has helped make it the number one attraction in Brighton and Sussex and enabled it to generate income through admission, retail, weddings, functions and filming.

However, adopting the business model of a national attraction was not the best way forward for the other museums.

The business model canvas

Using’s business model canvas during the Future Proof programme helped the RPM team to:

− analyse and frame where each museum is now and where it wants to be
− inform forward strategy
− assess financial and visitor drivers
− consider how to balance the key purpose of each museum with commercial imperatives of income generation

The canvas also alerted them to what activities do not fit the model and could be dropped out.

As a result, each museum can now differentiate its unique characteristics to provide clarity about the value of that museum to the people it seeks to engage. For example, one museum with craft and filmmaking collections is now repositioning itself as a museum of making focused on engaging families, schools and local residents.

Another museum is repositioning itself as an interactive science centre, combining the gothic charm of a 19th Century ‘bird’ museum with a 21st Century story of evolution.

Another has revised its programme to provide fun and innovative events which make good use of its site. This raised visitor numbers and compensated for a decline in school party visits.

The decision to take a different focus for each museum was based on the recognition that a business model is more than just a model of how an organisation generates income; it is a model of how an organisation generates value. Each of the Brighton museums has a clear value proposition which enables it to appeal to different visitors. As Janita puts it, “sustainability needs to be about purpose rather than propping up something in which no one wants to participate.”

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Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton and Hove Business Model (PDF)

Resource type: Case studies | Published: 2017