Our work in Marketing and Audience Development grows audiences for arts and heritage, helping residents feel connected to and proud of Torbay and helping visitors share our sense of what makes this place unique. We are working to build Torbay’s reputation for excellent arts and culture programming and to make it easily accessible.


We want to be on the map as a great cultural centre, brilliantly communicated. We need to grow our reputation for innovative, community-driven arts and heritage in unusual places and spaces and to help our cultural venues to thrive, however they are governed. We also need to get much better at celebrating and commercialising under-utilised cultural assets such as our UNESCO-endorsed Geopark and Agatha Christie heritage.

In order to achieve all this, we have to get better at communicating our arts, culture and heritage offer to residents and visitors, addressing Torbay’s ‘digital black hole’ and leading a creative, editorial-led approach to 'what's on'. Good practices in marketing are currently often isolated to specific initiatives or organisations and the potential to sell the varied offer across the cultural sector in a co-ordinated and targeted way has not yet been fully explored.

We need to understand and engage with our audiences more effectively to tackle the gap between our fairly culturally-engaged visitors and our residents who believe the arts are “put on for tourists and not for the likes of me” (Cultural Strategy consultation, 2014).

We want to get the message out that Torbay is a creative and cultural place and your life will be better if you join in!


Through this project, we are seeking to identify and develop Torbay talent, to create and embed models and frameworks for effective marketing and communications, and to share skills and practices. We will commission marketing, communications and audience development expertise to help us raise Torbay’s cultural game, delivering:

  • a digital engagement strategy to be implemented across multiple channels and audiences, to make Torbay’s cultural offer easily accessible to residents

  • a new type of digital culture guide for Torbay communities bringing together contributors from amongst Torbay’s many artists, bloggers, vloggers and social media leaders

  • campaigns to make the most of milestone ‘moments’ in Torbay’s cultural calendar

  • cultural collateral images/films/copy), advocacy materials and on-going digital content, editorial guides

  • a new ‘culture panel’ of current and potential audience members, as a resource for deep audience insight

  • a definitive database of Torbay’s cultural audiences

  • sustainable means of continuing these outputs beyond the Great Place Scheme investment.


This project will deliver the following objectives:

  • More residents feel that arts, culture and heritage is ‘for them’

  • Residents and visitors are able to find out about quality arts and culture in Torbay more easily

  • High quality Torbay arts, culture and heritage is more widely known and increases its reach in terms of audience numbers and audience diversity

  • Cultural practitioners gain and make use of new insight into local audiences.


July - August 2017:
Commission marketing and audience development consultants (complete)

August 2017:
Develop digital engagement strategy (complete)

September 2017 - ongoing:
Launched and regularly publish new digital cultural magazine, The Shorely

January - December 2018:
The 99 project provides insight into the current relationship between local residents and the arts and heritage venues and events in Torbay, South Devon. It reveals key findings on how we can better reach, motivate and sustain mass audience attendance to venues and events across Torbay, South Devon.  

The 99: Final Report is now available to download and review. Published November 2018. Any distribution must include the following attribution:
L Gardiner and K Peters (2018) The 99: Motivating local residents to attend arts and heritage more often. Commissioned by Torbay Culture, as part of Torbay’s Great Place Scheme – a pilot scheme - supported by a grant from Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Supporting documents:
Recruitment Survey
Summer Survey
Winter Survey
Pre-Event Survey
Post-Event Survey
Example Attendance Confirmation
Example Observation & Focus Groups Guide


Wonder Associates has been appointed to deliver the Marketing and Audience Development project. This work is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, as part of Torbay's Great Place Scheme.

“So much effort and the outcome is brilliant and will go a long way to ensure we have something unique and quality to share.”

– Laura Carus, Mackerel Sky Events on The Shorely feature
“You have created an amazing and flattering profile of me and I am truly appreciative. All this is so exciting and I love the way Torbay is creatively and culturally buzzing at the moment…”

– Jackie Wills, Textile Artist on The Shorely profile
“Well done The Shorely on showcasing the incredible Doorstep Arts team they are the most nurturing adults leading the most amazing group of young people!”

– Facebook user