Museums Northumberland: Project Development Manager

Job Role: Project Development Manager
Job Type: Fixed Term until 31st July 2023
Location: Flexible – Berwick-upon-Tweed or Ashington, plus remote working
Salary: £30,000 per annum (pro rata)
Reporting To: Chief Executive Officer
Direct Reports: Four Learning Officers and consultants as required

About Museums Northumberland:

Museums Northumberland is the museums service for England’s most northerly county. We manage four distinctly individual museums: Berwick Museum & Art Gallery, Hexham Old Gaol, Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum and Woodhorn Museum, with a with a vision to ‘share Northumberland’s stories to connect, enrich and inspire’.

Our sites and collections testify to key moments in world history and represent Northumberland’s role in shaping the world.
Hexham Old Gaol is England’s first purpose-built prison, Berwick upon Tweed Museum and Art Gallery is housed in the Clock Block of England’s first planned Barracks, Morpeth Chantry contains the world’s first Bagpipe Museum and Woodhorn Museum’s colliery is a Scheduled Ancient Monument within Europe’s former largest coalfield. Two of our collections are of international importance; the Pitman Painters – the first collection of amateur art to be displayed permanently; and the Berwick-upon-Tweed Burrell Collection – the Northumbrian portion of the most significant private donation in Europe.

We are an Arts Council England-funded NPO and the lead body for ACE’s Creative People & Places (CPP) Peer Learning Network. We also manage the CPP Project, Museums Northumberland: bait, delivering an ambitious programme of arts engagement in South East Northumberland. We are currently the proud co-recipients of a 2021 Local Government Partnership Award as well as the first ever institution to secure a ‘Heritage Blue Badge Access Award’. We host an average of 70k visitors p/a, engage with a further 160k online and have a paid membership in excess of 15k, but have the potential for much wider engagement.

Owing to our recent success with partners in securing funds in excess of £11M to transform the region’s STEM capabilities through both the National Lottery Heritage-funded ‘Union Chain Bridge: crossing borders, inspiring communities’ and the North of Tyne Combined Authority-funded STEM & Digital Heritage ‘Our Past, Your Future’ projects, we are seeking an Project Development Manager to coordinate our delivery on both projects and apply that learning to enhancing our organisational capabilities to serve our audiences, online and in-person, both in region and beyond. These projects have been running successfully for two years and the successful candidate will play a key role in seeing the projects through to completion and ensuring their legacy.

Both of these projects have prospered over the last two years, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, and successes include the delivery of an intensive STEM Learning Programme to 32 partner schools across the region; the development of an online resource mapping the history and heritage of industry and innovation in the region; working with 50 volunteers on archives research and community archaeology projects; and the development of a series of interpretation tools celebrating the history and ingenuity of the Union Chain Bridge. For further details, please consult our project websites https://museumsnorthumberland.org.uk/project/our-past-your-future/ https://museumsnorthumberland.org.uk/project/union-chain-bridge-project/

Purpose of the Job
You will lead and champion the delivery of the two prestigious capital projects to budget, deadline and to the highest ethical and quality standards using effective communications to ensure that all of our stakeholders are kept up to date and engaged. You will apply the learning from the capital projects, as well as your specialist knowledge, to supporting Museums Northumberland’s readiness for the next NPO period. You will collaborate with Senior Management Team colleagues to lead and inspire teams to deliver our strategic priorities through departmental strategies, policies, and plans. Your work will be instrumental in improving the wellbeing and ambition of our communities, inspiring loyalty in our organisation and improving our reputation and reach.

Key Role Responsibilities:

• Lead the delivery of the heritage; interpretation and STEM content on the prestigious NLHF-funded £10M ‘Union Chain Bridge: Crossing Borders, Inspiring Communities’ Project. Working collaboratively with Museum Northumberland’s CEO and our Project Board comprising of Northumberland County Council, Scottish Borders Council and the Friends of the Union Chain Bridge.

• Lead the development and delivery of the North of Tyne Combined Authority STEM & Digital Project ‘Our Past, Your Future’ in collaboration with our project partners, Northumbria University’s NU STEM, Historic England, Akzo Nobel and Tharsus.

• Facilitate lasting relationships with community partners, third sector organisations and educational institutions to ensure accessibility to the work of Museums Northumberland and to share good practice.

• Ensure Museums Northumberland’s commitment to support the ambitions of the Arts Council’s Creative Case for Diversity is proactively integrated into all aspects of our work

• Provide regular updates to all trust staff, volunteers, stakeholders and trustees to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of our STEM projects, providing training and support to colleagues where a need is identified.

• Contribute to the work of the Senior Management Team helping to shape the business plan development and delivery and championing STEM at every opportunity.

• Contribute to the Seasonal Steering Groups and ensure that diverse audience needs, and expectations are met through our seasonal events and exhibitions.

• Lead a Team of Temporary Project Staff and Consultants in the delivery of both the Union Chain Bridge and North of Tyne Combined Authority Project.

Person Specification:
The post holder must have (and be able to demonstrate) the following core/professional competencies:
Strategy & Leadership • Clearly articulates the charity’s vision, mission and objectives, and communicates the capital projects’ impact on achieving these aims
• Actively contributes to the Senior Management Team, working with colleagues to lead and model good practice across the organisation
• Supports teams to understand their role in the context of the charity’s strategic ambitions
• Confidentially engages with stakeholders and colleagues at all levels, both internally and externally
• Holds overall responsibility for all departmental budgets and targets, providing effective financial management and reporting
• Motivates and provides confidence to direct reports and wider colleagues, enabling them to utilise their skills and knowledge and act with the appropriate level of autonomy
• Ensures plans are progressed successfully, setting and monitoring objectives and encouraging personal development and institutional learning

Decision Making & Problem Solving • Demonstrates sound ethical and professional judgement and the ability to make unbiased decisions
• Displays a strong commitment to improving ways of working and generating ideas
• Is willing to make difficult decisions, pragmatically weighing up the complexities against the need to act, and demonstrates resilience in communicating and implementing decisions
• Is prepared to take managed risks, ensuring these are planned and impact assessed
• Places emphasis on both the future and shorter-term implications when decision making

Delivering Results • Pushes themselves and their team to achieve, setting a clear plan and objectives and ensuring they/their team stay focussed
• Pro-actively supports their team in overcoming obstacles to achievement of objectives
• Takes responsibility for delivering expected outcomes on time and to standard
• Regularly monitors their own and their team’s outcomes and activities against targets and acts promptly to keep work on track/maintain performance
• Develop and maintain policies and procedures that comply with relevant legislation and best practice
• Provides effective, timely reporting both in writing and through presentations to a wide array of stakeholders both internally and externally
• Utilises data detecting patterns in audience behaviour and wider demographic trends to inform objectives and approaches
• Encourages feedback from your team, service users and other departments to ensure ‘lessons learned’ are shared with colleagues and result in changes to practice where applicable

Change, Adaptability & Flexibility • Is confident to initiate and manage change initiatives for the benefit of their team and/or the wider institution
• Identifies and seizes opportunities, getting others to buy-in to the change and seeing it through to completion by maintaining positivity. energy and drive
• Provides their team with the skills and information to allow them to successfully flex and adapt to change

Communication & Stakeholder Engagement • Inspires their team to engage with the long-term vision and purpose of the Museum
• Builds positive, long-term relationships with a wide range of stakeholders
• Communicates in a timely, straightforward, respectful, honest and engaging manner with colleagues and other stakeholders and expresses clearly, but with sensitivity, if they disagree or have concerns about decisions
• Provides constructive challenge back to their team on views, suggestions and behaviour
• Adapts their style of communication depending on audience and message

Professional Excellence • Provides advice, guidance and training on best practice in audience development and project delivery to Museum colleagues
• Stays up to date on the audience development best practice across the sector and beyond
• Upholds both the spirit and letter of the Museums Association’s Code of Ethics
• Adheres 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
• Professionally challenge procedures that do not add value to the Museum
• Actively supports and demonstrate the Museum’s Values
• Protects the reputation of the Museum
• Acts as a positive influence and role model, acting with integrity and professionalism and tackling challenges in a pragmatic and collaborative manner, to bring your team and the wider staff along with you when changes and developments are being implemented
• Uses professional expertise, detailed operational knowledge, and accumulated knowledge to its fullest extent where appropriate
• Proactively seeks to advance own professional expertise and supports others to do so

Other • Educated to Post-graduate degree level or equivalent experience
• Significant and demonstrable heritage or cultural project management experience
• Experience of working with a diverse array of stakeholders to focus on a common goal
• Experience of supporting organisational culture change to achieve audience focus
• Experience of project evaluation and the collation of robust data
• Knowledge and understanding of best practice audience development and equality and diversity


Salary: £30,000 per annum (pro rata)
Hours of work: 37 hours per week
Holiday entitlement: 23 days per annum plus bank holidays
Contract: Fixed Term until 31st July 2023
Pension: Employer Contribution Scheme
This post will require occasional evening and weekend working.

The post can be based at either our Ashington site (Woodhorn Museum) or our Berwick-upon-Tweed site (Berwick Museum & Art Gallery) depending on candidate’s preference. Home working and flexible working arrangements are also in place. Regular travel across the region will be required as well as occasional travel across the UK.

Further Information:
For further information about Museums Northumberland, please consult our website www.museumsnorthumberland.org.uk

To apply:
Please email your current CV with a covering letter demonstrating how you meet the role specification to Claire Danks, at [email protected] with ‘Project Development Manager’ on the subject line. If you would like to discuss this role in advance of applying, please contact Claire Danks to set up an appointment with our CEO, Rowan Brown.

Closing date for applications is 8th August 2022
Interviews will take place remotely week beginning 8th August 2022