Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Chilton Open Air Museum - Interim Museum Director Job Vacancy


Interim Museum Director Job Vacancy

Job Title: Interim Director
Salary: £40,000 per annum depending on experience
Contract: 12 months from August 2017 (or earlier if available)
Holidays: 25 Days plus bank holidays

Chiltern Open Air Museum

Chiltern Open Air Museum tells the story of the unique history of the Chilterns through buildings, landscapes and culture for the enjoyment, inspiration and learning of present and future communities.
Founded in 1976, the Museum consists of 45 acres of Chiltern landscape and more than 30 re-erected vernacular buildings covering 2000 years of history from a reconstructed Iron Age House to a 1940s Prefab, with a further 13 in store. The site comprises of woodlands, gardens and traditional farm animals and has 54,000 visitors per annum including 18,000 school children. The Museum holds Accredited status from Arts Council England and is a registered charity. It has no regular grants towards its running costs or capital projects.
It is a very successful visitor attraction offering a wide range of spectacular re-enactments, special events/ family activity days, schools workshops from prehistory to literacy experiences and up to 12 weddings every year. Over the last few years, the Museum has established excellent training programmes supported by for the HLF Skills for the Future funding.
There are up to 30 employees (many of whom are casual, during the summer months) and the support of over 200 volunteers, who give an enormous amount of time each year. Volunteers are active in all departments of the Museum’s operations and are supervised by permanent members of staff.
Further details can be found on the website www.coam.org and in the Annual Report and Accounts www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission or Companies House www.gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house.

The Role

The current Museum Director is moving on to another post in August and the Museum’s Trustees are looking for an Interim Director who will run the Museum operations for up to 12 months, to allow time to recruit for a permanent position after a strategic review is conducted.
The Interim Director will work with the Trustees to ensure that the Museum continues to deliver locally and nationally in its role as a visitor attraction and centre of excellence for education, whilst maintaining its collections and continuing to engage with new audiences through learning, social and tourism programmes.
The Director will need to be a leader with the confidence and experience to deal with people at all levels, an appreciation of the role and needs of both the heritage and charities sectors, combined with a strong sense of financial and commercial acumen. It is a very hands-on management role, working 5 days out of 7 each week including weekends and Bank Holidays during the open season (1st April – 31st October and a weekend in December).
Previous experience in the museums or heritage sectors, while an advantage, is not essential but applicants will be expected to demonstrate the necessary qualities to understand and manage our heritage operation.
The Interim Director will report to the Board of Trustees who meet bi-monthly to monitor progress of the Museum and discuss strategy.


Key Responsibilities

The interim Director will be responsible for:
  1. The operational management and direction of the Museum, and all the resources – staff, finance, site and collections
  2. Providing leadership across all aspects of the Museums operations
  3. Financial management, including maximising income and controlling expenditure, and assisting in securing support from outside the Museum (fundraising) for investment in sustainable projects, and managing their successful completion.
  4. Maintaining current partnerships and collaborations with public authorities and other organisations, local, national and international, that connect with the Museum’s objectives.
To achieve the above, the Director will:
  1. Provide the Board with progress reports across all areas of the museums operations
  2. Prepare an annual business plan for the Board’s approval in conjunction with the Treasurer, specifying budgets, key performance indicators and financial targets for the period, and reporting to the Board on their achievement.
  3. Manage the Museum’s budget, ensuring that the Museum’s financial systems and procedures are secure and effective, and that appropriate, timely financial management information is distributed internally.
  4. Inspire, lead and motivate staff and volunteers at all levels, managing performance and development including setting and reviewing work priorities.
  5. Ensure the Museum complies with all relevant legal, safety and planning regulations and other statutory requirements.
  6. Ensure that the Museum’s collections assets are maintained and programmes delivered to the high standards associated with a Museum of its reputation.
  7. Maintain close links with the Friends of the Museum and other supporters
  8. Represent and act as an advocate for the Museum

Person Specification

The successful candidate will be personable, practical and able to ‘hit the ground running’. They will have significant experience of managing operations within a similar setting, ideally within the heritage sector but we will consider candidates who meet the criteria outlined below.
They should possess and be able to demonstrate:
  1. Significant experience of managing operations in a not for profit setting, including significant budgetary management
  1. An awareness of and interest in the work of the Museum, particularly in relation to education
  1. Excellent leadership skills with experience of:
    • managing staff (including contractors)
    • working with a large group of volunteers
    • managing stakeholders
    • reporting to a board
  1. A positive ‘can do’ attitude and track record of delivering across a broad range of functions and demanding deadlines
  1. An ability to communicate at all levels using the most appropriate means
  1. Hold a current driving license (there is no public transport to the Museum so the post holder will need a car or other transport to access the site).
  • Experience of managing operations in a heritage setting or visitor attraction
  • The ability to reconcile business requirements with other needs (eg, environmental, ethical, community, stakeholder)
  • An understanding of the strategic landscape within which heritage operates
  • A successful track record of fundraising across a range of sources (trusts and foundations, public grants, donors)
  • Experience of running or overseeing events/weddings etc.

How to Apply

CV and letter of application to Verena Clark, Chair of Trustees by email on siteandfarm@coam.org.uk.
Deadline for applications: Thursday 8 June at 9am
First round interviews: Thursday 15 June 2017