Researchers have named Bewdley Museum as one of the top five heritage sites in the West Midlands after awarding it a near perfect score following a secret shopping exercise.

National research company Service Science carried out a secret survey of the museum between May and July funded by the West Midlands Development Programme.

A team of secret shoppers anonymously visited, called and contacted the museum in a number of ways, submitting questions and enquiries in person, by phone, social media and email to evaluate the overall look and accessibility of the museum, eventually awarding the museum an amazing score of 95.4 out of 100.

Service Science carry out several hundred visits to sites across the UK each year, including the top London museums. Their survey spans 14 categories assessing services like information desk,  shop, cafe, gallery/exhibits, team member appearance, toilets and access. Within each of these areas there are up to 25 detailed questions.

Bewdley Museum Staff

Axel Klenert from Service Science said: “The individual section scores for Bewdley Museum could be summarised as “consistently high” as there wasn’t an area within the operation that was really underachieving.  This is the main reason for the high overall outcome."

Researchers particularly praised the high standard of staff behaviour, awarding 100% for criteria including “Willingness to help”, “Attention to detail”, “Appearance”,   “Rapport” and “Competence”.

Mr Klenert said:“Having visited all of the West Midland museums with our MD over the last two years Bewdley Museum is certainly one of the top five from a personal/professional perspective. I was very impressed when I visited.

“I would confidently recommend Bewdley Museum as best in class and would have no problem suggesting to West Midlands Development Team that they use the museum as a leading example of a modern run heritage site without having lost its main objective.

“We have worked with a lot of the leading museums and galleries in London and I can confidently say that your museum and the operation you run are definitely in the top 10% as an overall performance measure.

Bewdley Museum manager Ali Bakr said: “The team at the museum has achieved this result because of the hard work, dedication and quality of our customer experience. Everyone takes immense pride in the custody, management and development  of this unique site and this commitment from the team will continue to take the museum from strength to strength.”

Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Community Protection Councillor Juliet Smith said: “I would like to add my congratulations to everyone at Bewdley Museum for achieving such a high standard.

“The researchers have worked with some of the country’s finest museums, and to receive such an accolade is a sign of the continuing hard work, effort and attention to detail of the whole team.

“I am always impressed when I visit Bewdley Museum with the work being done by the team and I would certainly echo the researcher's comments on the staff's willingness to help and ability to make a visit to the museum so enjoyable.”

Some members of the Bewdley Museum team are pictured in The Shambles.

Front row:  Josie Mills, TIC Co-ordinator, Amanda Peplow, Education Officer, Ali Bakr, Museum Manager, Olivia Ferris, Museum Assistant and Gill  Edwards, Museum Coordinator

Back row; Alex Bedwell, Museum/TIC Assistant and Ross Iannoccaro,  Museum Technician.