Situated in Dunfermline in West Fife / Scotland, Pittencrieff Park is of huge historical and cultural significance to the area. With over 750,000 visitors each year the Park – which was gifted to the people of Dunfermline by Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish born American industrialist and philanthropist – is one of Scotland’s most important and popular urban parks and well placed to attract a range of different visitor markets.
In 2015, during the delivery of a £1.6m Heritage Lottery funded project, LJ Research successfully undertook and completed the Pittencrieff Park Visitor Survey using Visitrac – LJ Research’s online visitor survey engine – as well as face-to-face interviews. Fife Council, who manage Pittencrieff Park, commissioned us to conduct the survey to provide information on how the Park is performing against the targets set by the Heritage Lottery Fund and to assist in developing strategies to achieve these.
The study we undertook was a repeat study which means that our task was to re-visit and update data gathered from a previous Park survey carried out in 2009. As the initial Pittencrieff Park Visitor Survey was conducted using face-to-face interviewers we repeated this methodology to ensure a like-for-like comparison; in addition however, we undertook an online survey using Visitrac to bolster the response count. We have, over the years of further developing our online visitor survey engine, perfected an approach that ensures a high response rate, typically of 50% or more. This dual methodology of online and face-to-face harmonised the two targets of a) delivering comparable data of b) as many responses as possible – the response count was 15% higher than originally anticipated.
Our data analysts merged the two data sets (of online and face-to-face approach), weighted results where necessary (e.g. in the event that we found a segment of visitors to be underrepresented) and delivered findings in a succinct summary report that assisted the Park management with their final formative evaluation.
Our clients were very happy with the outcome.
Martin Bonnar, Major Parks Officer with Fife Council said: “During 2015 LJ Research delivered a large visitor study project for us in Pittencrieff Park. Using face-to-face interviews and online surveys, this project sought to gain a better understanding of current and potential audiences, to evaluate visitor profiles and visitor engagement to provide a fuller picture of who visitors are and why they come. The resulting report has contributed significantly to our plans for improving and developing the Park.”