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Building on Success 2017 -2022

We’ve been on an exciting journey at the South West Heritage Trust since our creation in 2014.

We’re now a leading heritage organisation in the South West and work with many local and national partners. We’ve got six main sites and provide a wide range of heritage experiences for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Our aim is to celebrate and protect our rich heritage, helping everyone to enjoy it now and in the future.

Click here to download and read a summary of our business plan, Building on Success 2017 - 2022 

A word from the Chair - David Gwyther


The Trust brings together services of outstanding quality which were previously provided by Somerset and Devon County Councils, who remain our main funders. The Museum of Somerset is widely admired.  Following major refurbishment Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury will reopen in 2017 as a key Somerset tourist attraction. The Brick and Tile Museum in Bridgwater is a hidden gem.  The archives and local studies collections in Taunton and Exeter are excellently cared for in purpose-built accommodation and together constitute one of the largest such collections in the country. The Trust also provides essential advice and information relating to Somerset’s historic environment and cares for historic sites for the public to discover and enjoy.


The Trust is an independent charity. This brings new opportunities to develop and prosper, to reach more people - those who love our history and those who have yet to discover it. We will be outward looking, working in partnership with communities and organisations, embracing new ideas and ways of doing things while safeguarding existing and well-loved services.


I have been hugely impressed by the commitment and dedication of heritage staff both in Somerset and Devon and by all that they do to preserve and make available the rich evidence of our past.  We want to make our shared heritage available to as many people as we can and in ways that provide lots of opportunities for learning, engagement and fun.


I am excited by the prospect that lies ahead and hope that you will be too.


South West Heritage Trust – The Past, The Present, The Future



How we work


The South West Heritage Trust is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. Find out more about our Board of Trustees and Management here.


Our Vision

We will celebrate and protect our rich heritage, helping everyone to enjoy it now and in the future.


Our Mission


Access, Learning and Enjoyment

  • We will help people from all backgrounds to learn from our heritage and be inspired by it.

  • We will encourage individuals and communities to get involved in our heritage.

  • We will make our heritage as accessible as we can.


Care, Conservation and Protection

  • We will make sure our heritage is excellently cared for.



  • We will build partnerships with funders and stakeholders and increase financial sustainability.

  • We will strive for excellent, ambitious and entrepreneurial services.

  • We will foster links between heritage, tourism and economic prosperity for the benefit of all.


Staff and Volunteers

  • We will ensure that our workforce is skilled and diverse.





The Board of Trustees meet on a quarterly basis to provide strategic leadership to the organisation. There are three Committees that feed into the meetings of the Board to deal with specific areas that are critical to the organisation:

  • Personnel Committee

  • Finance Committee

  • Marketing and Communications Committee

As a registered charity, we publish annual accounts which are available to view on the Charity Commission web pages. The listing also has information about our charity framework and our Board of Trustees.

Click to download our most recent financial statements.

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