Case study:Achates develops Strategy: Arnolfini

We invited Achates to work with us after two years of positive progress and change at Arnolfini. We felt it was timely to bring in an expert eye, to talk to our stakeholders and to think about how we continue our improvement journey as we move into our next three year planning cycle.

As Above, So Below, Sir Frank Bowling, 2020, acrylic on canvas


Arnolfini is Bristol’s International Centre for Contemporary Arts located on the harbourside in the heart of the city. The gallery works with a nimble staff team to ensure that it is open to and engages with a wide range of audiences in its diverse community.

In 2021 the gallery invited Achates to develop an Audience Development Strategy that would enable it to ensure that it was optimising the impact of its work. Achates worked with the staff team and Arnolfini’s partners and key stake holders to develop an analysis of its current position and to outline what changes and developments could be made across front of house, communications and digital platforms to enable this.

The recommendations focused on 6 priority audience groups and through the modelling of their interests and priorities, informed the development of key messages, sample text and appropriate mediums to enable Arnolfini to achieve a coherent tone of voice and style across its communications. It also reviewed fundraising and commercial income to ensure that the opportunities were optimised and integrated.