Buckinghamshire Railway Centre

Forward Plan 2015-2018


Name of governing body: Board of Trustees – Quainton Railway Society Limited

Date this Forward Plan was approved: 8th November 2014

Date this Forward Plan will be reviewed: 8th November 2015

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Visitors represent our main source of income, split between admissions, the café, the souvenir shop and the second hand bookshop. Visitor numbers have fluctuated over the past four years, and were down 8.5% in 2013, but still over 27,000. Our forecast for 2014 is 28,500 visitors.

It is essential that we reverse the fluctuating trend of the last four years and grow our numbers by effecting audience centred processes. Our aim is to attract 36,500 visitors a year, by 2018, in order to guarantee and maintain a reliable source of visitor income. In order to increase visitor numbers we must review and improve our marketing efforts. We have not carried out any market research recently and our understanding of our current audiences, their reasons for visiting and their expectations, is minimal. We need to invest significant time and effort in improving our market intelligence, analysing the scope for developing our audiences and improving the way we communicate with them.

We are currently undertaking surveys of potential and existing users. We are updating our website to create a better experience for all users.

We tailor certain open days to different age groups, focusing on different entertainment or educational themes, such as ‘Days out with Thomas’, and Evacuee’s Day for schools. From 2015 we will be exploiting opportunities arising from the new National Curriculum introduced in September 2014.

We have a very wide range of visitors, some from a 100 mile radius, some from the village that we are located in. Visitors vary from steam enthusiasts, to school educational visits, to families enjoying a day out, and even coach tours looking at film sites. Events that cater for the steam enthusiast tend to attract users from a far greater radius.

Comments to staff and comments left in the visitor books are on the whole complimentary. We recently received a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor with 4 stars out of 5. We also monitor the feedback from any offer sites that we may use and are always awarded very high marks from our users. A sample of some of the comments received are:

Fantastic. The best preserved railway we’ve seen&ldots;..and we’ve seen a few!! Excellent facilities & volunteers. Well done!” Chris Jackson, 17/9/2014

Visitor comment book

A refreshing presentation of our great heritage. Wonderful work done & being done by the cheerful & knowledgeable volunteers” John & Lynn Parks 20/6/2012

Visitor comment book

We had a lovely afternoon, there was lot’s to see and do! My autistic son enjoyed seeing a 'real' tank! For us adults it felt like walking down memory lane and history coming to life!!” Groupon customer