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Job Title:    Head of Public Engagement
Organisation:    River & Rowing Museum
Salary:    £41,000 - 44,000 p.a.
Type:    Full-Time Position
Location:    Henley on Thames, England
Closing Date:    Sunday, February 7th, 2021
Job Ref No:    
Other Benefits:   The Company operates an auto-enrolment pension scheme

20 days per annum of holiday rising to 25 after two years, in addition to 8 Bank/Statutory Holidays per annum
Job Description:
Head of Public Engagement

Are you a skilled and successful museum / arts / heritage professional in search of a new challenge? The River & Rowing Museum is a dynamic independent museum approaching its 25th anniversary in 2023. We are seeking a creative and energetic individual to join our small, high achieving team, to help deliver our ambitions in the next phase of the Museum’s development.

About you
This is a new and exciting post for the River & Rowing Museum. We’re looking for a self-starter with energy and imagination, who can think creatively and act boldly, and with demonstrable commercial acumen. You must have a proven track record of developing and delivering a highly successful public programme in a museum or heritage setting with commercial and visitor engagement objectives, and be passionate about engaging visitors of all ages and abilities. You will also contribute to the strategic development of the organisation as a member of the Leadership Team, and be key to the Museum’s ambition to achieve a balanced budget by 2024.

Purpose of role

The post will develop, lead and deliver a vibrant and varied public engagement programme, utilising all of the museum spaces imaginatively to build visitors numbers, re-calibrating the Museum’s relationship with its communities and audiences, bringing entrepreneurial flair, and contributing to the Museum’s financial sustainability targets. This activity will cover all aspects of the Museum’s offer to, and involvement with, the public, drawing inspiration from the Museum’s collections, Vision, Purpose and Activity Themes.

This work will include working with community partners to deliver activity in collaboration, and facilitating local groups to host and run their events using our venue and using our spaces. We want the Museum to be a fun and welcoming place at the heart of the Henley and local community, and communities of interest further afield. We want them to feel an emotional attachment to and investment in the Museum, to support what we do and to find compelling reasons to visit and keep returning. This engagement will run across our operations – exemplified through our volunteers - and is paramount to the Museum’s success, building a lasting relationship with our communities. The Head of Marketing & Communications, Curator, Trusts & Foundations Coordinator, and Learning Officer roles will report into the new post, forming a single team which puts audiences at its heart.

This is an exciting time to join the Museum and put your stamp on its public programme and audience engagement.

The River & Rowing Museum is an award-winning museum and gallery, idyllically located on the banks of the River Thames in Henley on Thames, South Oxfordshire, close to the M4, M40 and within easy reach of both Oxford and Reading by both road and rail. Our vision is to bring the river to life - creating a powerful sense of place, enhancing the wellbeing of our communities and supporting a more sustainable natural environment. An effective Head of Public Engagement is key to delivering our ambitions for the future.

Opened in 1998 by H.M. The Queen, the Museum has established itself as one of the leading independent museums in the country. It was selected by The Times (May 2013) as one of the ‘50 best Museums in the world’, and in 2016 has been identified as one of the top 10 Family Friendly Museums in the U.K. The Museum is recognised as crucial to the local tourist economy and pre-Covid was attracting over 118,000 visitors a year.

The Museum’s award-winning building was the first major UK commission by Sir David Chipperfield and continues to be acclaimed for its minimalist design. It currently houses five permanent galleries including The Wind in the Willows, a gallery devoted to the work of artist John Piper and the International Rowing gallery.

Education is central to the Museum’s charitable objectives and its success in both formal school workshops and informal learning is a source of pride. Each year over 20,000 young people visit our purpose-built education centre that was doubled in size in 2006 with the support of a major Heritage Lottery Fund grant. In 2013 and again in 2018 the Museum was awarded the prestigious Sandford Award for Heritage Education.

The Museum is currently open 5 days a week, throughout the year and sits in Mill Meadows by the side of the River Thames. It has a high quality and popular café, lively shop, plus a number of event spaces suitable for parties, weddings, lectures or conferences.

You can find the complete job pack by visiting

Completed applications using the Museum’s application form should be sent to: by midnight on Sunday 7 February 2021. We cannot at this time receive applications by post. Initial interviews will commence in the week beginning 22 February 2021.

Should you wish to discuss this role informally prior to submitting your application, please contact the Director, Sarah Posey,

Job Description: Head of Public Engagement

Responsible to: Director

Responsible for: Head of Marketing & Communications, Curator, Trusts & Foundations Coordinator and Learning Officer

Location: Henley on Thames

Salary package: £41,000 – £44,000pa (full-time)
The Company operates an auto-enrolment pension scheme

Holidays 20 days per annum rising to 25 after two years, in addition to 8 Bank/Statutory Holidays per annum

Main scope and responsibilities

• Devise, plan and deliver an innovative, creative and inspiring programme of profit- generating events, workshops, and clubs for adults and families which excite and engage our audiences, meeting both commercial and visitor engagement objectives

• Create, plan and implement a programme of gallery interventions / small displays / temporary exhibitions (some as incoming loans) geared to the Museum’s target audiences which will drive admissions and secondary spend, and attract external funding

• Lead on imaginative digital and web-based content development to extend the audiences for the stories we can tell from the collections, and activities we can devise inspired by them, some of which will be income-generating, which meets the needs for the Museum for 2021 and beyond

• Ensure RRM’s public engagement programmes are at all times audience-focused, while ensuring programmes incorporate excellent pedagogy, interpretation and are intellectually and commercially sound; thinking creatively to interpret complex stories in accessible and engaging ways

• Engage and work with local people and community organisations to frame and create the public programme, developing partnerships to deliver activity in collaboration

• Develop tailored and targeted community engagement activity for which external funding can be secured

• Oversee the running of the existing programme for schools ensuring it covers its costs

• Encourage and grow the use of Museum’s spaces by local people, including hires

• Work with colleagues across the organisation to generate ideas and operate cross-team in delivery of the public engagement programme

• Collect, review and act on visitor data and audience feedback

• Line manage four staff and create a public engagement team which draws on the skills and ideas of colleagues across the organisation

• Project manage all engagement activity. Ensure programmes are delivered to time and budget using internal resources effectively and in line with RRM processes

• Work collaboratively with colleagues to maintain and extend existing relationships with a wide range of local community groups, schools, partners, organisations and individuals

• Act as safeguarding lead for the organisation

• Contribute to funding bids led by the Trusts & Foundations Coordinator to support public engagement and widening participation

• Represent the Museum at key internal and external events to promote RRM’s public engagement activity

• Be able to work evenings and weekends as required


Stay up to date and comply with sector best practice and act with integrity.

Adhere to Museum policies, procedures and code of conduct, to protect people and the Museum’s reputation, including in relation to Health and Safety, Safeguarding and GDPR.

Develop and maintain the appropriate risk assessments, policies and plans for Public Engagement activity.

Recruit, induct, manage and develop staff.

Plan, manage and report on budgets.

Work closely with colleagues to support the further development of the service.

Together with other members of the Leadership Team, you will have responsibility for:
• Implementing the Museum’s Forward Plan
• Maintaining the Accredited status of the Museum
• Working to deliver achieving financial sustainability by FY23
• Actively supporting and demonstrating the Museum’s Values
• Working as part of a team and supporting colleagues across the Museum.

The above job description is not intended to be a comprehensive list of key responsibilities, duties or requirements, and you are expected to carry out any other duties commensurate with the scope and scale of your role. The job description should be reviewed regularly to ensure it remains an accurate reflection of your role

Required Skills:
Qualifications, experience & knowledge
A self-starter with experience of leading a visitor programme, including exhibitions/displays, and formal and informal learning - in an arts, heritage, culture or leisure visitor attraction, which are innovative, creative and intellectually sound

Demonstrable entrepreneurial approach to developing income-generating activity in an arts or heritage environment

Demonstrable commercial acumen

A proven track record of developing and delivering a highly successful programme of events both with commercial and visitor engagement objectives

Experience of targeted community engagement and widening participation in an arts, culture or heritage environment

Experience of effective collaborative working with communities, external partners and stakeholders

A successful track-record of building artistic, creative and/or commercial partnerships.

Good understanding of audiences

Experience of using audience data and feedback to inform programme development

Experience of planning, managing and delivering collections-based or –inspired gallery interventions, displays and exhibitions

Understanding of digital content

Understanding of the formal learning sector

Understanding of Safeguarding

Experience of leading, managing and developing teams

Commitment to diversity, inclusivity and representation and an understanding of how this commitment applies to this role
Application Instructions:
You can find the complete job pack by visiting

Completed applications using the Museum’s application form should be sent to: by midnight on Sunday 7 February 2021. We cannot at this time receive applications by post. Initial interviews will commence in the week beginning 22 February 2021.

Should you wish to discuss this role informally prior to submitting your application, please contact the Director, Sarah Posey,
Contact Name:    Dr Sarah Posey
Contact Tel:    
Contact Fax:    
Contact Email:
Address:     Mill Meadows, Henley on Thames, Oxon, RG9 1BF.