Visitors to museums and theatres in West Sussex

This measure is taken from the Visit Britain website (see link below) who invite all English visitor attractions to take part in an annual survey recording visitor numbers and entrance fees.
We aim for an increase of 20% by 2022

2019 performance

Visitor numbers continue to increase and in 2019 the website  traffic grew by 29% from 2018, reaching 96,802 sessions. Delivery of a targeted approach to increase engaged visitors to the website, from our key target segments has resulted in a high referral rate of 20% (20,157) of traffic going through to West Sussex partner websites, tourism businesses, experiences and activities featured across the EWS digital platform. 


Experience West Sussex marketing
For 2019, the digital marketing messaging has focussed around ‘Discover your West Sussex’, encouraging our target audiences to find and explore something unique to discover within the county around either active breaks or cultural excursions. We have also promoted an exclusive offer to our audience as a result of working with the Weald and Downland Living Museum.  
 The Experience West Sussex Partnership has also seen great traction with PR, with a number of international journalist press trips taking place last September and October as a result of our partnering with the England’s Creative Coast and England’s Coast Discover England Funded projects.
International Press Trips: During September, Experience West Sussex hosted two major international press trips. These focused on the coastal area and the heritage & gourmet offer. The Gourmet press trip comprised of writers with a joint circulation reach of over 17 million readership worldwide.
Business Engagement: Experience West Sussex Partnership (EWSP) partnered with Visit Chichester and Visit Britain to run training in Chichester, designed to develop online bookability and improve access to international markets.  50 attendees were signed up, using partnership B2B marketing channels. Two more sessions are planned in West Sussex in 2020 in other parts of the county.
Local food and drink
The Taste West Sussex House of Commons event was extremely successful. The 16 food and drink producers featured at the event all reported the positive impact of being involved through additional sales, profile and partnership opportunities. The Experience West Sussex website saw a threefold increase in hits following the event. We are introducing Gatwick Airport to West Sussex producers who were particularly interested in stocking local drinks (wine, sparkling wine, beers and ciders).
picture of taste West Sussex event
Experience West Sussex Partnership
The Experience West Sussex Destination Partnership was launched, with WSCC working with the district and borough councils to support and grow the visitor economy. A Partnership Manager is in post and an action plan for the next year has been agreed. One of the first opportunities has been to take part in the new ‘Gateway Gatwick’ project, with a chance to market the West Sussex offer alongside that for Kent, East Sussex and Surrey, including through new itineraries to be promoted via Gatwick’s marketing channels.
Experience West Sussex
Experience West Sussex digital marketing
The 2018 marketing campaign saw an estimated £2.4 million economic impact for the local economy, near 39,000 followers on social media, near 2,000 email subscribers and more than 300 businesses included and promoted in Experience West Sussex activity. The first 2019 campaign launched in March, called ‘Experience Your West Sussex’. This targets young couples and high-spending 50 to 65-year-old’s – focusing on the sense of exploration and wish to ‘discover the undiscovered’. The campaign links with Visit Britain’s ‘micro-gap’ messaging.
Luxury hotels in West Sussex, Experience West Sussex photo
England’s Creative Coast
A successful business breakfast was held to launch the ‘England’s Creative Coast’ project, and was attended by 45 businesses. The Discover England funded project aims to promote the cultural south east coast to international visitors in France and Denmark.
The project has finished but efforts are being made to ensure a legacy to the project through other Discover England funding. A programme of networking events for businesses is currently being considered through the Experience West Sussex Partnership.
England's Creative Coast - Jerwood Gallery, Hastings
Advertising Experience West Sussex on fleet vehicles
Design work is complete covering five WSCC fleet vehicles with Experience West Sussex branding. This follows the success of WSCC electric vehicles being branded with Your Energy Sussex messages. The branding will encourage people to visit the Experience West Sussex website and enjoy days out and new experiences within the county.
West Sussex reception, English Tourism Week
WSCC hosted a tourism event last April during English Tourism Week at Leonardslee Gardens, for businesses and key organisations in the West Sussex tourism sector. The event also provided the opportunity to introduce the new Experience West Sussex Partnership to those present.
English Tourism week event
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)
WSCC has been working in partnership with Coastal West Sussex to support the ‘Full STEaM Ahead’ project to increase STEaM skills careers development in schools and with employers. Funding and opportunities for this area of work are being explored.
LEADER grants
The Central Sussex and South Downs & Coastal Plain Local Action Groups have committed £2,532,077 to fund 72 projects supporting the rural economy and communities. The projects will create at least 89.5 FTE jobs. Find out more.
The two Local Action Groups still have around £380,000 to commit to projects. All LEADER funded projects must be completed and grants claimed by December 2020.
LEADER grant event - Office
SPARK social enterprises
The WP2 Accelerator Programme has now completed. The successful programme is currently being evaluated with the help of 25 social enterprises that have benefited from the project. The modules of support for start-ups are complete and about to be launched. The Innovation Network now has more than 300 members. Events are being planned for start-ups and support organisations. A network will be set up for the action plan stakeholders and progress on the action plan will be monitored.
cartoon of dinosaur and 3 children
Inside Worthing Threatre

Museum wins Sussex Visitor attraction of year award (2015)

Weald & Downland Museum