Ideas shared over future of Acton Scott Historic Working Farm
The results of a survey hosted by Shropshire Council over the future of Acton Scott Historic Working Farm are now published.
Acton Scott Historic Working Farm was the vision of Thomas Acton who established the museum to demonstrate historic farming techniques. It has been operated by Shropshire Council, as tenants of the Acton Scott Estate since the 1970s.
The museum welcomes approximately 20,000 visitors a year, but the much-loved attraction is no longer considered to be financially sustainable by the council, and Shropshire Council is working with the owners of the Acton Scott Estate to find an alternative operating model that provides a sustainable future.
Faced with the need to find a financially sustainable approach, Shropshire Council launched a public engagement exercise in February 2022 which included a survey, direct responses and holding discussions with the Friends of Acton Scott Historic Working Farm, the local community and the education and heritage skills sector.
There were 1,122 responses to the survey and 160 direct responses were received, some of which acknowledged that the survey had been completed by the sender.
People who responded say they visit to see something beautiful or interesting, learn something new, see agricultural heritage, enjoy a day with family and friends, see and feed the animals, for education and courses and to enjoy the café.
Some people were very happy with their visits and were unable to suggest improvements, but others suggested the operators should:
- expand the range of activities/ workshops/ courses/ events
- develop the café and shop
- increase investment / maintenance/ facilities
- improve transport and access
- improve marketing/ promotion
Cecilia Motley, Shropshire council cabinet member for communities, culture, leisure and tourism, and transport, said:
“Shropshire Council has committed to working with the Acton Scott Estate to find an alternative operating model that provides a sustainable future and the information gathered from this survey will help inform this process. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to take part.
“As we move towards finding a refreshed business model for ASHWF, Shropshire Council is hoping to be able to host educational courses in the New Barn over the summer and will publicise them when the timetable has been agreed.”
Click here and choose the outcome tab to see the survey results.
Shropshire Council will consider its options, taking into account the survey results, after a full business report is completed later this year.