Museum of Farnham: Options Analysis Tender Opportunity

Location:Waverley Salary:Fee to be agreed. Main duties:


The brief

The consultant is required to carry out an options analysis for the museum service exploring what each of the following options might look like:

  • The museum stays in Wilmer House – assuming grant funding is secured to pay for the repairs and provides the substance for a more contemporary museum offer.
  • The museum moves to alternative premises – assuming a property can be found in the short or long term which enables the disposal of Wilmer House.
  • Community outreach museum
  • Other options the consultant believes worthwhile of consideration.

Each option should include a description of its key characteristics including:

  • Cultural and community offering
  • Operating arrangements/requirements
  • Key partners and providers
  • Funding arrangements
  • Long term implications / legacy

The key requirement is to understand the full spectrum of implications associated with each option including:

  • Financial – costs, savings, income generation, sustainability, external funding
  • Socio-cultural – cultural/heritage/learning offer, engagement with communities
  • Technological – digital offer, audience development, widening access
  • Legal – restrictions, covenants, ethical standards, statutory obligations
  • Environmental – emissions versus carbon capture, conservation of the collection
  • Political – risk appetite, reputation, parity of provision
  • Future legacy, resilience

Essentially, the report must quantify the timeline and costs involved in moving the museum out of the building as this, alongside a property appraisal for Wilmer House carried out by Montagu Evans on the Council’s behalf, will be a determining factor in the Council’s decision making.


The consultant is required to:

  • provide a methodology that meets the brief
  • consult key stakeholders including WBC officers, Elected Members, Farnham Maltings, museum staff, Surrey Heritage, the South East Museum Development Team (details will be provided).
  • carryout option analysis
  • Recommend a preferred option backed by supporting evidence
  • provide a written report
  • present the findings

Context for this piece of work

Waverley Borough Council has submitted an Expression of Interest to the MEND Fund. Arts Council England will inform applicants as to whether they are invited to submit a full application on 2 August 2021. The deadline to submit the full application is the end of October and a final decision will be announced in February 2022.

During this timeframe WBC must prepare for either outcome so that the Council’s Elected Members are informed of all the facts as they make an important set of decisions about the museum’s future.

Timetable for delivery

The timetable for delivery is guided by the key milestones of the MEND Fund.

Commence August / September

Final report March 2022


Interested applicants should have extensive knowledge and experience of the museum sector. Examples of having led museum and heritage organisations through change would also be desirable.

Management and reporting

The successful applicant will be contracted by Waverley Borough Council. They will be expected to work closely with the Arts and Cultural Services Manager, the Head of Commercial Services and the Property and Estates Team.


Please submit a budget breakdown for the entirety of this work in your tender response. You may include different pricing options if you wish. Please make your daily fee and the number of days you intend to allocate explicit.

Requirements for submission  

Those interested in submitting a tender for the work should provide:

  • a summary of what the applicant understands is required and a proposed methodology in response to the brief
  • timetable for delivering the brief
  • a breakdown of all costs and anticipated expenditure, this should include a rate per a day and the number of days required to fulfil the brief
  • CV with examples of previous relevant work
  • The names and contact details for two references

Please email your submission to

Supplementary information about museum and the museum building is available on request please email or call 07974 667246 for an informal conversation. Please kindly note that I work Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays so there may be a slight delay in responding to enquiries.

Supplementary information available includes:

  • 2021 Condition Survey
  • Details and costings for the brickwork repairs
  • Collection and Development Policy
  • Site visit can be arranged on request
  • Telephone chat can be arranged on request
Closing date:06/09/2021 Job Description:



Waverley Borough Council is looking to engage the services of a museum consultant to undertake an options analysis for the Museum of Farnham, which will guide and inform an important decision about the future of the building and the museum.

Current situation

The Museum of Farnham has occupied Wilmer House, a Grade 1 Georgian town house since it opened in 1961. Waverley Borough Council (WBC) owns the freehold for the property and grounds as well as the museum collection (circa. 30,000 objects). The management operations of the museum are delivered by Farnham Maltings, a charitable arts organisation, through an SLA and WBC are responsible for maintaining the Grade I Listed building; a separate garden gallery built in 2008 and an outbuilding referred to as the coach house.

The Georgian building housing the museum requires remedial external repairs estimated to cost in the region of £5-600,000. WBC is not in a financial position to be able to pay for the repairs and is therefore reliant on applying for external grants. In recent years, the cost of the repair works has been a predominant factor, which has contributed to uncertainty about the building’s future and overshadowed the development of the museum.

In its endeavour to find a solution, WBC would like to understand the implications of taking the museum out the building versus staying put in terms of

  1. Moving and relocation costs versus the full cost of maintaining the current building (a recent condition survey is available)
  2. The process and ethical standards that are involved in moving, storing and streamlining museum collections
  3. The longer-term benefits and disbenefits of moving the museum versus staying put

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