Hampshire Cultural Trust is committed to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).  We believe that a culture that actively values difference and people with different backgrounds and experiences brings invaluable insights to the workplace, enhancing the way we perform and the way we work.

Our aim is to be inclusive, valuing and respecting diversity and developing our ability to recruit and retain a diverse workforce that reflects the communities we serve and work with, now and in the future.

Our EDI strategy has been created with input and collaboration from colleagues from across all areas of the trust and supports the delivery of our vision: to create inspirational cultural experiences in Hampshire that enrich and transform lives.

  • Background
  • What do we mean by EDI
  • What we have done so far
  • What we will be doing next

EDI is important to our customers, staff, volunteers and stakeholders. As a charity, we are guided by the principles and recommended practice of the Charity Governance Code, which has three key EDI goals we are committed to achieving:

  • That the principles of EDI are embedded in the organisation and help to deliver the charity’s public benefit

  • That obstacles to participation are reduced, with the organisation’s work designed and open for everyone included within its charitable purposes. This supports the charity to challenge inequality and achieve improved equality of outcomes

  • That the board of trustees is more effective, reflecting different perspectives, experiences and skills, including, where applicable, from current and future beneficiaries


What do we mean by EDI

EDI is composed of many different parts, all of which are central to a culture where people feel able to be themselves, valued and respected. While equality is included in our strategy, we are taking this a stage further and focusing on equity.

  • Equity recognises that people do not all start from the same place and involves taking action to ensure fairness and opportunity

  • Diversity can be described as the visible and non-visible differences that every person brings as an individual

  • Inclusion can be described as the actions and behaviours we demonstrate to ensure that everyone feels valued and respected for their contributions, regardless of who they are.


What we have done so far

EDI has been an important consideration for the trust for some time – our EDI policy was published in 2018. This is the progress we have made so far: 


To gain a better understanding of our audiences and improve their diversity so that they are more reflective of the local population.
  • By collecting demographic information such as gender, age, ethnicity and location through visitor surveys, we have gained a better understanding of our visitor profile 
  • We have developed and maintained partnerships with multiple organisations, helping us to target  underserved and vulnerable groups
  • During the pandemic, our digital publication Culture on Call, allowed us to make our programme accessible to a wide audience
To work with local communities to understand their needs and actively seek ways to collaborate and co-produce the products we create.
  • An Arts Council England funded audience study in Rushmoor enabled us to have a better understanding of the barriers that people experience to accessing arts and culture
  • Culture:Impact, an NLHF funded project, enabled us to develop a framework which has helped us improve our approach to engagement and evaluation 
  • The museum at Gosport Museum and Art Gallery was developed by the community for the community and is a place where ever-changing stories can be shared
  • With funding from Arts Council England, co-creation pilots across our three arts centres explored different ways of working with artists and communities
Through research and our collections, to explore stories that are relevant to today and Hampshire’s diverse communities.
  • Since 2018, we have responded to over 3,000 direct public and academic enquiries
  • We support a central volunteer team that researches our archaeology and natural sciences collections and venue-based volunteers researching local history
  • We delivered a collections-based research project with men recovering from mental health crisis
  • We conducted audience research to inform the concept for 878 AD and worked with sector experts so that it engages a younger audience who may not traditionally visit museums
When planning new developments ensure that we are creating fair and accessible services for all.
  • Accessibility audits are now embedded in all capital projects and have been successfully implemented at Milestones Museum, The Arc, Gosport Museum and Art Gallery and 878 AD.
  • We have undertaken an accessibility audit of our websites and work is underway to reach WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.1 Level A standards.
Review the diversity of our board and workforce and create an action plan that helps us achieve a fair reflection of the local population
  • We have created an EDI Steering Group and an internal working group that is representative of a range of roles and teams  
  • Where possible, we have collected EDI data about our workforce, and data on the local and surrounding areas populations have also been reviewed. 
  • New policies to support our staff have been launched for flexible working, sick pay, sickness absence and whistleblowing, as well as homeworking guidance to support employees to work remotely where possible
What we will be doing next

We are committed to reaching new, more diverse audiences, working with local communities to understand their changing needs and developing a track record of co-production and collaboration. 

Our commitment to EDI has four pillars: our board, our people, our visitors, our programme.


We will deliver our vision of ‘to create inspirational cultural experiences in Hampshire that enrich and transform lives’ by achieving the following:
  • To make Hampshire Cultural Trust as diverse as Hampshire and its surrounding counties and to embed the principles of EDI in everything we do 
  • To drive change through collaboration with our people, audiences, communities and stakeholders
  • To stay relevant to the ever-changing demography of our external environment
To achieve these goals we will:
  • Research the local and regional population, as well as the wider UK, to understand ‘what is on our doorstep’ 
  • Review and enhance the current values of the organisation to ensure they reflect our commitment to EDI
  • Review and enhance data collection for every element of the EDI strategy to enable evidence-based decision making as well as measuring our impact and progress 
  • Celebrate diversity, tell our stories, learn from other cultures and embed this in all our communications
  • Create the right governance structure for progress and reporting
Find out more
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