Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life

Website Planning and Idea Development – Brief

Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life is looking to commission a freelancer with vision and creativity and an understanding of websites to work with the staff team to help develop ideas and provide support for a proposed future website refresh and restructure.


Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life (CMoML) tells the story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.   The Museum covers over 300 years of military history telling the story of the 34th Regiment of Foot, 55th Regiment of Foot, the Border Regiment, the King’s Own Border Regiment, and the current Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.   The Museum building is located on the regiment’s site in Carlisle Castle which is owned and managed by English Heritage.

The Museum is a charitable trust, overseen by a Board of Trustees. There are currently five members of staff– a Museum Manager, Education Assistant, and three Museum Assistants – who cover front-of-house duties, collections management, education and events delivery, and all other tasks.   A team of volunteers support the staff team

The Museum attracted over 27,000 visitors in 2018, falling to 12,777 in 2020 though back up to 21,566 in 2021. In 2021 the Museum team secured funding from the Heritage Fund to commission support in several areas to develop a more sustainable Museum.  Key pieces of work have been developed with the Museum team, including a review of its digital offer, and an Audience Development Plan (available for the successful candidate to reference).

With these development plans in place, the Museum team are now looking for support to help them develop and refresh their website in 2023/24.

What we are looking for

We are looking to work with a freelancer to identify develop a clear action plan for a planned major overhaul of the current Museum website. We require someone who can help us develop a vision for the future website building on what we have and recognising what we are developing. – what functions can and should our website incorporate and how do we balance these?

We have in place:

  • A museum brand book.
  • An audience development plan (highlights below).
  • A digital review.
  • A museum strategy in our forward plan

We are developing:

  • A revised retail offer
  • A museum dashboard to support governance
  • Online accession records
  • A digital collection
  • A marketing plan

Using our Digital Review and Audience Development Plan, you will work closely with the staff team and our appointed marketing consultant to

  • Identifying the Museums’ needs and requirements for the website from consultation and discussions with staff and utilising additional reports
  • Developing ideas, offering suggestions, and providing solutions to help develop a multi-functional website
  • Highlighting ways of integrating social media

We need to consider:-

  • Hosting options
  • Relevance to our audiences – see attached appendix
  • Navigation and site layout
  • Adding content and keeping the website updated
  • Ticketing and donation choices
  • Integration with social media platforms
  • Incorporating our branding using existing guidelines

Outputs from the commission will be:-

  • A realistic action plan for a new Museum website
  • Advice on how to deliver the website
  • Advice on how the website will evolve over time.

Timescale and fee

We are looking for someone to work with the Museum team between April and June 2023 and produce an action plan by the beginning of July. Specific dates can be negotiated with the Museum Manager on appointment.

The fee for the work is £2000

£1500 payable on appointment and the final £500 on completion of the report.

How to apply

Please send your tender to: Jules Wooding, Museum Manager, by 12:00hrs on Monday 20th March

We would like you to include: –

  • Your Name, email address and telephone number
  • Your approach and initial reaction to the brief
  • An outline work plan with key milestone dates
  • Your CV highlighting relevant experience of website, marketing and communications planning and delivery with reference to working with other museums or cultural venues
  • Two referees from similar pieces of work

Please contact Jules Wooding, Museum Manager, ahead of the deadline with any queries or if you require further information.  Email

We will hold informal interviews on Wednesday 29th March 2023 before making an appointment.


Audience Development

The Audience Development Plan has identified target audiences for the museum after consultation with potential future visitors.  That piece of work also analysed existing audiences and the strategic context in which the Museum operates.   Its recommendations for the Museum are to:-

  1. Increase the frequency of visits from existing local audiences
  2. Increase the number of first-time visits from local audiences who have an interest in a Cumbrian and/or military story
  3. Work with partners to increase the number of visits from those making overnight stays in the area (tourists) and see these as one-off visitors who can share their positive experience by recommending to others
  4. Become the ‘go-to’ visit for schools in a one hour radius for a wartime schools’ session
  5. Develop the Museum’s brand and USP, ensure it is at the heart of activities and communications to help audiences connect with the CMOML.
  6. To deliver targeted community engagement programmes to those who will benefit most.

The plan also identified three key actions for the Museum team:-

  1. Be clear about the Museum’s brand and USP and make sure it is at the heart of our activities
  2. Give people reasons to come back for repeat visits
  3. Make your actions have impact and work harder for you

Target audiences (extract from Audience Development Plan 2022)

The audiences that the Museum should target are identified below.   We have included key identifying factors for each (i.e. who they are) alongside our recommended aims for each of these to assist you to prioritise your resources and actions for each audience.

Ø  Adults within a 60 minute[1] drivetime looking for a day out in Carlisle

Who are they?

  • Older adults, individuals and groups, with a general interest in history
  • Families in school holidays
  • Existing Castle visitors
  • Intentional Museum visitors

Your aims for this audience are….

  • To increase the number of visits from this audience
  • To raise your profile and their awareness of what the museum has to offer them
  • To develop your marketing and brand to attract this audience
  • To work with partners to access this audience
  • To encourage them to become repeat visitors and increase their frequency of visit with regular communications that showcase changing content and opportunities to participate

Ø  Families

Who are they?

  • Families with primary school-aged children
  • Focus on Carlisle families first with secondary focus on those in 60-minute drivetime
  • Likely to visit at weekends and school holidays
  • Military families
  • Intentional Museum visitors and Castle visitors

Your aims for this audience are….

  • To increase the number of visits from this audience
  • To raise your profile and their awareness of what the museum has to offer them
  • To work with partners to access this audience, e.g. Cumbria libraries family programmes, use of Facebook and connecting with local family groups
  • To encourage them to become repeat visitors and increase their frequency of visit with regular drop-in activities with a variety on offer

Ø  Overnight tourists to area

Who are they?

  • Adults, families, groups from across the UK (and international), i.e. outside local drivetime
  • Likely to be one-off visitors
  • Existing Castle visitors
  • Intentional Museum visitors

Your aims for this audience are….

  • To maintain the number of visits from this audience
  • To maintain your profile as a visitor attraction in Carlisle with those promoting the tourism offer
  • To encourage these visitors to share their experience and recommend a visit to others

Ø  Schools

Who are they?

  • Primary Schools within a 60-90 minute drivetime
  • Existing bookers
  • First time bookers
  • Focus is on wartime content to deliver the National Curriculum
  • Secondary focus with regular schools could be developing project-based work

Your aims for this audience are….

  • To increase the number of visits from this audience
  • To become the ‘go to’ place outside the classroom for World War One and World War Two learning in Cumbria
  • To develop productive working relationships with several teachers who will support you to develop new ideas and test out new programmes

Ø  Adults with a subject interest

Who are they?

  • People with an interest in the military and its history
  • Family history researchers, linked to regiment
  • People with an interest in local history of Carlisle and Cumbria
  • People who would benefit from engagement/wellbeing/community approaches

Your aims for this audience are….

  • To maintain the number of visits from this audience
  • To maintain your links and offer for this audience, maximising impact whilst not over-stretching your resources/capacity in serving them
  • To encourage them to become your advocates and to recommend a visit to others
  • To work with community members who would benefit most from engagement with the museum






[1][1] We are using 60 minute drivetime here based on discussions with team but recommend you commission a drivetime analysis of your postcodes to base this figure on evidence

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