Museum Director, Amberley Museum

Salary:£30-35,000 p.a.dependent on experience Closing date:28/06/2019 Job Description:

Amberley Museum is a 36 acre site located in the heart of the South Downs National Park, dedicated to showcasing and preserving the working past of the South.  Its origins were as a chalk and lime making quarry. The region’s past can be discovered across 20 exhibit areas including narrow gauge train and historic bus rides and there are regular weekend events.  This provides a diverse experience for over 50,000 visitors p.a. including over 3,000 schoolchildren. A team of some 200 active volunteers contribute to running the site. An accredited, registered charity and independent museum founded 40 years ago, the Museum is located next to Amberley railway station near Arundel and close to major access roads in West Sussex. The Museum is open to the public in the main season Wednesday to Sunday.

After a period of consolidation, we are looking for a Director to take the Museum to the next level and realise its full potential as a major heritage attraction. This is an opportunity to play a major role in shaping the Museum’s plans in conjunction with the trustees and other stakeholders to ensure a sustainable future.

The Role

The Director has responsibility for all museum activities, with a remit to direct, lead, inspire and ensure effective delivery, team working of staff, volunteers and retail tenancies in line with agreed policies. Specifically the Director will:

  • Develop strategic and business plans in conjunction with the trustees and other stakeholders; monitor these plans and report to the trustees as required.
  • Set and monitor capital and revenue budgets in conjunction with the accounts officer and trustees, oversee authorized expenditure and deliver financial performance within the agreed budgets.
  • Lead and deliver capital and fundraising initiatives including the acquisition of grants.
  • Attend trustee meetings and liaise with the Chair on the ongoing development and implementation of the business plan. Ensure effective communications with the Trustee Board.
  • Oversee the curatorial responsibilities of the museum and the objectives of the Amberley Museum Trust; and ensure that the necessary processes are in place to maintain accredited status.
  • Enhance the presentation and activities of the Museum to maximize visitor experience, develop educational programmes and take advantage of commercial opportunities including retail, catering and site hire.
  • Oversee the development of the Amberley brand and ensure that brand guidelines are adhered to throughout the Museum.
  • Act as the chief spokesperson and representative of the Museum.
  • Ensure that the Museum is a welcoming, safe and secure place for staff, volunteers, visitors and collections.
  • Ensure that the Museum complies with legal requirements, including health and safety, safeguarding and licensing.
  • Maintain an environment which promotes employee/volunteer morale and encourages the teams to have a high level of pride in the Museum and a high level of commitment to its aims.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with national and local museums, local communities and stakeholders, relevant support agencies and local government.
  • Be available on occasion to work as Duty Manager, which may be at weekends.
  • Carry out other duties appropriate to the Director role, from time to time, as specified by the Trustees.

The Individual

The person we are looking for will have leadership experience in a busy, diverse museum, heritage or visitor attraction and be able to deliver an exceptional visitor experience whilst achieving commercial targets.   They will need to be able to set and monitor financial budgets and work collaboratively with both staff and volunteers to ensure that the vision for the Museum is delivered.

Essential Skills:

  • Educated to degree level
  • Experience of working in a senior leadership role for at least three years in an income-generating museum, heritage or visitor attraction.
  • Evidence of success in developing, managing and growing an annual operating budget.
  • A proven successful track record of leading and improving trading results (e.g. catering, retail, events, site hire) in a similar commercial environment.
  • Experience of managing staff including hiring, training, development and performance management.
  • Experience of working with volunteers.
  • An appreciation for the historical authenticity of the museum and the curatorial constraints within which we operate.
  • Commitment to working on-site and being a highly visible presence and role model for staff and volunteers.
  • An understanding and awareness of legal, safeguarding, licensing and health and safety requirements relevant to the operation of the museum.
  • Be a champion for equality, diversity and inclusion.


Desirable Skills:

  • Project management experience and/ or working with contractors.
  • Experience in the charity sector.
  • Experience of working directly to a Trustee Board
  • Marketing and communications experience.
  • Experience of managing change.

This is a full time role (37.5 hours per week) attracting a salary of £30-35,000 p.a.dependent on experience. There will be some weekend work on a rota basis. Annual leave entitlement is 25 days plus public holidays and there will be an initial 6 month probationary period.

The Process

Deadline: 28th June 2019

Please submit a CV and covering letter describing your interest in the role and how you meet the person specification to

Richard Vernon

Chairman, Amberley Museum


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