We want Shetland Arts’ venues to be comfortable, welcoming and accessible for all.

The aim of the survey was to get feedback on ways we could improve our accessibility and inclusion within our venues; Mareel, Bonhoga and the Garrison. We were delighted that 38 people took the time to respond.

Thanks to your feedback we are making positive changes towards building, communication and programming to improve accessibility & inclusion

68% of responders strongly agreed/ agreed they felt welcomed and supported by Shetland Arts.

Key Findings

After examining all the comments the key areas were broken down into: staff, facilities, information and participation and actions we can take to improve our service based on your feedback.


In general our staff were praised for their friendliness and helpfulness, in response to a small number of comments seeking improvement:


  • It's essential to note that like many hospitality businesses in Shetland and beyond, we are grappling with staff shortages. To ensure a consistent service, we temporarily relocate our café service to the front desk during our quieter hours (Tue-Thu am.)

  • We are committed to staff development and conduct quarterly all-staff meetings with training. Our past training sessions have covered diverse areas such as Alzheimer's Awareness, Autism Awareness, Dfib training and Customer Service Training.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to be kind to the staff we do have, it’s not an easy job at the moment.


General accessibility was rated positively but some problems noted with doors, lifts, lighting and lack of adult changing areas.


  • At Bonhoga we are actively addressing accessibility issues with our refurbishment plans, made possible by the Shetland Charitable Trust Capital Grants Scheme.

  • Flashing/ strobe warnings are listed on our events and films, we try our best to warn customers of any issues that may not come under the standard warnings, however please feel free to contact us if you have any concerns or questions about a particular event/film.

  • We are aware of how important Adult Changing Places facilities are, we had already secured funding prior to the survey through the Shetland Charitable Trust Capital Grants Scheme and are currently in discussions with architects.

  • Our Access & Inclusion working group has been in place at Shetland Arts since October 2022, chaired by Bryan Peterson (Outreach & Learning Lead) with this survey designed as part of the process. The group's primary goal is to ensure our spaces and activities become even more accessible and inclusive.


While most visitors found our information clear and understandable, we have taken note of feedback regarding website navigation, information formats, and marketing.


  • Our website meets current accessibility standards but we strive to make our information as clear as possible and this is an ongoing effort by our team.

  • We are researching options for apps to streamline film booking.

  • We commit to communicating our relaxed and inclusive film screenings more regularly and to develop some clearer information around booking with CEA cards.

  • To combat the impact of social media algorithm changes, we plan to leverage email communication more effectively. If you'd like to hear from us via email you can join our mailing list.

  • We will be encouraging our followers to add our Social Media accounts to their favourites so they never miss another update.


The feedback highlighted areas where participation in our events fell short of expectations. Concerns were raised about timing, pricing and accessibility. We've taken several measures to address these concerns.


  • To make events more accessible, we have diversified the timing of films and events, including inclusive film screenings on Tuesday evenings and relaxed screenings on Sunday mornings.

  • We offer workshops throughout the week and on weekends, catering to diverse schedules.

  • The prices of our events vary, we have free and paid workshops. We are committed to providing Fair Work to the artists who conduct workshops and this may influence costs. However we will ensure there is a range of pricing in our programme going forward.

– Thank you so much for taking the time to give us your invaluable feedback, with this we are able to make differences and meaningful change.

We appreciate your input and invite you to share your thoughts with us through our Customer Satisfaction Survey, which remains open until Sunday 12 Nov. This Access and Inclusion survey will be run again in the next 12 months, however if you have specific access needs or feedback you can always contact us.

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