Following a recent inspection by Visit England, Sharpe’s Pottery Museum has not only retained its accreditation as a Quality Visitor Attraction but increased its previous score from when the museum was last assessed.
The Visit England assessment included all aspects of the visitor experience from arrival and welcome, to the museum offering, its cafe and shop. Some highlights from the report included the visitor welcome, a new one-way system around the museum, and the cleanliness of the building.
Staff at the South Derbyshire heritage attraction, a registered charity, have been working hard to enhance the visitor experience. This improved offering now includes new exhibitions that showcase Swadlincote and South Derbyshire’s rich industrial history, a new cafe ‘Sweet Caroline at Sharpe’s’ serving delicious home-cooked light lunches, afternoon teas and cakes, as well as a gift shop selling a wide range of locally produced items. Sharpe’s has also relaunched its events programme with a range of activities for all ages. From Easter holiday fun and artist-led workshops, to artisan markets and ‘Komedy in the Kiln’, there is something for everyone.
Chris Beech, Chair of Sharpe’s Pottery Heritage and Arts Trust says “The Trust are incredibly delighted by the recent assessment made by Visit England – Improvements were noted to all sections of the museum, and this is a testament to how hard the staff have worked over the past few years to refresh the museum offer and the visitor experience. We will continue to cherish the wonderful building and its collections, and strive to maintain the high standards we have set.”
Sharpe’s Pottery Museum took the opportunity to celebrate its increased accreditation during English Tourism Week (Visit England’s annual celebration highlighting the importance, value and vast contribution that the tourism sector makes to the UK economy) by hosting a networking event for local businesses to see all the changes that have been made.
Nicola Lees, Business and Development Manager, says “Tourism is absolutely vital to our heritage centre based in Swadlincote town centre and it’s fantastic that we have come through the pandemic and re-opened our amazing iconic Grade II Listed building for our visitors to enjoy. English Tourism Week has been a great time for us to show off what we’ve achieved since we opened in June 2021. We took the opportunity to invite other local businesses to come along, find out what we’ve been doing, and make important connections with others in our local community so we can continue to create a sustainable future within the sector and our town”
The team at Sharpe’s are looking forward to welcoming new and returning visitors, whilst continuing to look for new ways to further add to the visitor experience with more exciting new developments already planned.
Sharpe’s Pottery Museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays. To find out more about Sharpe’s Pottery Museum, opening times and its events programme, visit www.sharpespotterymuseum.org.uk or follow Sharpe’s on its social media pages.