Visitor Services Manager, Watts Gallery Trust

Location:Compton, Near Guildford, Surrey Salary:£26,000-£28,000 p.a. Main duties:

Duty Management

  • Plan, manage and deliver the Duty Manager Rota ensuring Duty Managers receive necessary and regular training and can fulfil their roles confidently.
  • Ensure that Front of House are briefed daily ensuring awareness of all daily public events for communication with visitors.
  • Ensure Volunteer Stewards receive an excellent welcome and briefing before their shifts.
  • Work closely with the Estates team, reporting any health, safety or technical problems effecting visitors’ experience.

Volunteer Management

  • Act as the main point of contact for Volunteers, developing the volunteer programme; informed by best practice in the cultural sector.
  • Oversee the recruitment, induction, training and appraisal of volunteers, augmenting and diversifying the current team through new recruitment strategies and community partnerships.
  • Develop the volunteer roles, and ensure the rota runs smoothly with adequate cover in place.
  • Work with the Volunteer Events Manager to develop a successful programme of training and events that increases retention, skills, and ensures volunteer commitment and engagement.

Visitor Experience

  • Work closely with the Front of House team to ensure a consistent and enjoyable visitor experience, contributing to training as required.
  • Work with the Head of Operations to maximise physical and intellectual access on site, supporting visitors with additional needs.
  • Evaluate and develop signage and outdoor interpretation working with the Head of Operations, Marketing, Estates and Curatorial departments.
  • Ensure familiarity with all Fire and Health & Safety procedures and provide training for volunteers and other staff as required in consultation with Estates.
  • With the Learning & Events Coordinator ensure the Safeguarding of Children, Young People, and Vulnerable Adults on site; that procedures are up to date and followed by all staff and volunteers.

Public Events

  • Work with the Learning Team to plan public and execute public events seamlessly; overseeing health & safety, risk assessments, signage, parking, wet weather plans, outdoor lighting, ticketing, queuing and catering.
  • Ensure that local residents are kept up to date with major public events that might affect them.
  • Support the delivery of evening events ensuring excellent visitor experience.

Line Management

  • Act as line manager for the Visitor Services Supervisors, providing leadership and support in all aspects of their roles.
  • Organise training and development for the team and ensure participation.
  • Keep abreast of best practice in the sector and implement new approaches to ensure volunteers and visitors receive the best experience possible.


  • Manage the visitor services team budget effectively.

Evaluation and Reporting

  • Work with the Marketing and Front of House teams to regularly evaluate visitor experience, keeping accurate qualitative and quantitative data, and contribute to the annual report, funding reports and applications.


Skills & Experience


  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to communicate with a wide range of people
  • Experience of working in a museum/gallery/ heritage sector
  • Experience of working with volunteers
  • Experience of working in a public facing role
  • Strong IT skills


  • Training or mentoring experience
  • Experience of line managing staff

Knowledge & Qualifications


  • Relevant higher education qualification e.g. MA Museums Studies, Heritage Management or comparable experience.
  • High Standard of written English and Numeracy
  • Knowledge or qualification in First Aid, Health & Safety or willingness to undertake training
  • A knowledge of the complexities and importance of visitor services in the heritage sector


  • Driving License

Personal Attributes


  • Organised
  • Proactive
  • Ability to keep calm under pressure
  • Ambition to work in a Gallery, Museum, Heritage setting
Closing date:11/10/2021 Job Description:

This is an exciting and important role in the day-to-day running of Watts Gallery Artists’ Village, a developing multi-site museum, gallery and heritage estate in Compton, Guildford, founded by G F and Mary Watts in the late 19th century. The Visitor Services Manager is responsible for our important volunteer programme engaging over 200 volunteers including the management of the volunteer stewards’ rota. The Visitor Services Manager works with Marketing, Front of House and Estates to ensure excellent visitor services.

The Visitor Services Manager manages a team of two Visitor Services Supervisors, sharing daily Duty Managing responsibilities with them, ensuring volunteer stewards receive a supportive and enjoyable volunteer experience, and ensuring the safety of visitors and the collection.

Key projects will be the recruitment and retention of volunteers, ensuring that the public programme operates seamlessly, and supporting the development and coordination of Group Visits.

This position is full time (Sunday – Thursday)

Watts Gallery Trust is committed to addressing inequality in the arts and ensuring equality of opportunity in employment. We consider diversity a strength and are keen to make our workforce more representative of different backgrounds and experiences. We strongly encourage applications from people who identify as Black, Asian or minority ethnic, young, disabled, LGBTQI+, working class, or living or working in areas of socioeconomic deprivation in our region.

  Full details [external link]

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