South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries

About Us

The South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries (SWFed) is proud to represent and support the diverse heritage sector in the South West of England. Since 1931, we have been the one independent voice for the sector in the whole region. We are passionate about working with museums, galleries and heritage sites, along with their workers and supporters.

We promote a culture of shared learning across the region by connecting members with each each other, with relevant partners, and with the wider sector.

Members develop skills from our events, partner training programmes, and by being directed to other CPD opportunities in the region and beyond.

Resources and information provided through our website, eBulletins, newsletters and social media give members and others in the sector guidance, ideas, advice and the latest news.

We champion the value and benefits of the South West’s museums, art galleries and heritage sites.

We provide an umbrella body for regional subject specialist groups – currently, the SW Implement Petrology Group

Who can join?

Anyone organisation or person working in or with the heritage sector in the South West of England. This includes:

  • Museums
  • Art galleries
  • Heritage sites
  • Staff (paid or volunteer)
  • Self-employed
  • Supporters of the sector

Visit the Membership page for more information.


Our Board has at least one representative from each county and an observer each from Arts Council England and the SW Museum Development Partnership. We work with representatives from the National Trust, the Museums Association, the British Association of Friends of Museums (BAfM) and the Association of Independent Museums (AIM). The committee meets every quarter with full membership meetings at the AGM in early summer.

You can read our business plan by clicking here and our forward plan by clicking here.

Our Rules & Memorandum and Articles of Association can be downloaded here:

  • Standing Orders, Rules and Regulations
  • Memorandum of Articles of Association

Representing museums in the South West

The Federation represents the views and interests of museums in the South West to a range of bodies including:

  • Arts Council England (ACE)
  • SW Museum Development Partnership
  • Major Partner Museums: Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Plymouth Museum & Art Gallery and Cornwall Museums Partnership
  • Association of Independant Museums
  • British Association of Friends of Museums
  • National Trust
  • Museums Association

Funders and partners

We would like to thank the following funders and partners who have enabled us to carry out our work:

  • SW Museum Development Partnership
  • Tickbox Marketing
  • The National Archives
  • GEM
  • CBA
  • Ecotricity