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Job Title:    Head of Facilities & Commercial
Organisation:    River & Rowing Museum
Salary:    £40,000 p.a.
Type:    Full-Time Position
Location:    Henley-on -Thames, England
Closing Date:    Thursday, April 22nd, 2021
Job Ref No:    
Job Description:
Head of Facilities and Commercial

Are you a skilled and successful Buildings Manager with operational and commercial experience in search of a new challenge? The River & Rowing Museum is a dynamic independent museum approaching its 25th anniversary in 2023. We need your skills to help deliver our new Forward Plan and Project Sustainable Future ambitions, which include substantial upgrades to the building infrastructure.

About you
You will be a well-established professional with at least five years’ experience in facilities management, leading front of house teams and driving commercial income. You will have a strong track record in understanding buildings and building requirements, and developing and managing teams - bringing flair and imagination to the role, underpinned by a commitment to professional best practice and compliance. The ability to prioritise the Museum’s opportunities, and balance various demands on your time is vital. You will also contribute to the strategic development of the organisation as a key member of the Leadership Team. You have a keen interest in museums, arts and heritage, an understanding of the importance of volunteers to our organization, and will be an enthusiastic advocate for our work.

Purpose of role
Reporting to the Director, the Head of Facilities and Commercial has direct responsibility for key areas that underpin the museum’s activities. You will lead a talented team committed to delivering on targets to significantly raise the Museum’s admissions and commercial income, build our volunteer programme - providing an excellent visitor experience, with facilities and a building which are fit for purpose.

You will lead on an ambitious upgrade programme to deliver a building for a sustainable future. Within the role is responsibility for security of Museum buildings and collections, the safety of staff and visitors, and building maintenance. In addition, you will manage all aspects of IT, health & safety and security, visitor services and facilities.

You will work with the Museum Director, and the Trading Company non-executive directors to develop the Museum’s strategy with respect to commercial activity, including events hire income, retail and managing the relationship with the catering contractor. You will have the lead responsibility for delivering this strategy and budgeted income.

You will ensure an integrated and cost-effective approach to managing, maintaining and developing Museum operations, encompassing all aspects of the visitor experience, facilities, and security, to maximise public access and create a good working environment for staff.

Developing external partnerships, and relationships with key stakeholders, is key to the post.

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 Facilities and Commercial 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 was 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 attracted 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. The temporary exhibition programme in 2021 includes a major loan exhibition ‘Skyscape’ from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

The Museum is currently open 5 days a week (Thursday to Monday) 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.
Required Skills:

1. Building and facilities

a. To ensure that the building and its contents are well-maintained, well-presented and secure, and that high levels of cleanliness are maintained.

b. To assess plant and equipment and present options for capex improvements and planned repair and replacement undertaking tender process and presenting options to the Board of Trustees for capital investment

c. To be responsible for all aspects of the museum buildings and their insurance, together with mechanical and electrical installations, IT systems and grounds, letting and monitoring external service contracts as appropriate. To lead on ‘project management’ for any alterations or additions to the building or grounds and certain cross-team initiatives, or be the key contact if external project management support is engaged.

d. To manage an effective planned preventative maintenance schedule for all buildings, grounds and installed equipment ensuring compliance with all licensing requirements, developing supplier relationships for the benefit of the museum, and dealing reactively to issues as they arise.

e. To liaise closely with the Head of Collections & Exhibitions to ensure that:

i. environmental monitoring and maintenance is in place to safeguard the collections;
ii. appropriate routine pest control contracts are maintained;
iii. routine maintenance of permanent displays is undertaken; and
iv. a Museum Emergency Plan is developed and maintained.

f. Liaising with statutory and licensing authorities as appropriate (eg Fire, Police, local authorities etc) to ensure all necessary licenses are obtained and routinely renewed.

g. To manage allocated staff and non-staff budgets reporting on these on a routine basis to the Finance Director.

h. To ensure that the site and buildings are appropriately staffed during opening hours including as required for ‘out of hours’ events.

i. To manage (in conjunction with external contractors) site security including opening and closing routines, whilst ensuring an adequate ‘key holder’ and ‘on call’ system is implemented including key holding and out of hours call response

j. To be responsible for the security of Museum buildings and collections, ensuring appropriate systems and procedures are in place.

k. To ensure support staff are available to assist with exhibition and event installation and demount, including staff as required for ‘out of hours’ functions.

l. To ensure the routine maintenance and speedy repair of installed equipment in the Caterer’s areas of the building.

m. To regularly review contractors, including the cleaning and HVAC maintenance contracts, to ensure value for money and the best possible service to the Museum

2. Commercial

a. Line management Visitor Operations Manager, ensuring the continued development of a proactive commercial strategy to include retail planning, purchasing strategy and a proactive sales campaign for the commercial hire of the Museum building and estate.

b. To manage the relationship with the contract caterers, ensuring that quality and standards are managed to the agreed level, and that commercial opportunities are maximized.

c. Where appropriate, lead the review and tender process if a new catering contractors are required.

d. Proactively develop, implement and manage events and other commercial projects, including working with external organisations and partners to maximise commercial revenue and raise the Museum’s profile. This includes an annual review of commercial opportunities, developing a clear income target, and ensuring that these financial targets are achieved.

3. Health and Safety

a. To be the designated Health & Safety and Fire Officer and manage all aspects of H&S, ensuring that all relevant legislation and best practice are adhered to.

b. To Chair and convene routine meetings of the Health & Safety Committee.

c. Ensure adequate training is delivered to staff, and training records are maintained.

d. Ensure all mandatory tests and inspections are carried out in a timely fashion maintaining all appropriate statutory records of the museum relating to the safe operation of the premises.

4. Visitor Experience

a. To be responsible for the safe and effective management of the Front of House through the management of the Visitor Operations Manager ensuring that all areas are presented in a clean and safe fashion and that the highest levels of customer satisfaction are achieved.

b. To schedule and supervise routine and one-off evacuation and emergency training for all staff to ensure that the public and staff are kept safe.

c. To ensure that the FOH team consistently provide the highest standard of service to fellow staff and customers, closely aligned with the Museum brand.

5. Volunteers

a. To champion volunteering across the organisation and to the Museum’s communities, supporting the Volunteer Coordinator to substantially grow our volunteer team and its impact on our work and profile.

b. ICT

a. To manage the relationship with the ICT contractors, including the strategic development of the Museum’s IT provision.

b. To ensure that the ICT contractors provides value for money, is a good “fit” for the organisation, and to carry out a tender process for new contractors as required.

c. General

a. To develop and maintain the appropriate policies and plans for Commercial and Operations, and the Business Continuity Plan and Sustainability Plan for the whole organisation.
b. To recruit, induct, manage and develop staff.
c. To plan, manage and report on budgets.
d. To update and maintain the Staff Handbook and procedures relating to staff induction.
e. To work closely with other members of the Senior Management team 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 and Project Sustainable Future
• Maintaining the Accredited status of the Museum
• Working towards achieving financial sustainability
• 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.
Application Instructions:
For a job pack and to apply visit

Completed applications should be sent to: by 5pm on Thursday 22 April 2021 or be received by post on the same date: Recruitment, River & Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley on Thames, Oxon, RG9 1BF.
Initial interviews will take place Thursday 29 and Friday 30 April 2021.

Should you wish to discuss this role informally prior to submitting your application, or to arrange an informal visit to the museum, please contact the Louise Wymer,
Contact Name:    Hannah Jones
Contact Tel:    
Contact Fax:    
Contact Email:
Address:     Mill Meadows, Henley on Thames, Oxon, RG9 1BF.