Collections and Engagement Manager

Organisation: Almond Valley Heritage Centre

Salary: £40,000

Location: Livingston

Almond Valley Heritage Trust is a charity whose aims relate to the promotion of learning and the appreciation of local heritage. The Trust operate the Almond Valley Heritage Centre; a popular family leisure destination that features friendly farm livestock and imaginative play facilities, but also includes historic farm and watermill buildings, horticultural activities, and the museum of the Scottish Shale Oil Industry. Our museum collection is recognised as being of national importance and is displayed within the museum at Almond Valley and through a virtual museum presence.

The Collections and Engagement Manager is a new senior post who will be responsible for delivering and coordinating the Trust’s charitable objectives. Through operation of the museum, and through input to activities and services throughout the site, the work of the manager will add value and enrich the learning experience of family visitors (and also enhance their enjoyment). The rich variety of interests and resources on our site, and in our collections, offer wonderful opportunities to link ideas, explore themes, and weave stories. Imaginative, enjoyable experiences that are in tune with our popular family audience provide brilliant opportunities to spark interest, open eyes, and sometimes to encourage action. Our illustration of sustainable and non-sustainable sources of energy, and the rich natural and cultivated environment of the site, provide special opportunity to explore historical and local perspectives on the climate emergency and the needs for a sustainable future. Such activities all contribute to Almond Valley’s unique public identity.

The key responsibilities of the Collections and Engagement Manager will include

• Care and management of the museum collection to standards that meet or exceed those required for Accreditation and Recognition

• Continued development of the museum’s on line presence, and the programmes of research and content development associated with it

• Operation and continuing development of displays and exhibitions within the museum building and the engagement activities that take place within it

• Development of interpretation and displays within the historic mill and farm buildings, and extending the public use of these spaces

• Development of interpretation and engagement activities throughout the site, both as a permanent part of the visitor experience, and as shorter-term events and exhibitions.

• Contribution to the planning and delivery of the mainstream programme of special events and activities, particularly to ensure that commercial considerations are balanced by cultural purpose and align with the Almond Valley brand and mission.

• Managing an ongoing learning engagement with visitors and supporters through social media and other communication

• Coordinating curriculum-linked learning resources delivered on site or online.

Operational responsibilities

• Management and support of museum volunteers, who currently focus on digital content creation but might play a broader role in museum operations

• Management of any seasonal staff in engagement roles, notably those appointed to deliver the summer activities programme, and any relevant staff employed on projects. Direction of a museum technician, and of the horticultural activities carried out by landscape staff

• To advise and support the farm manager in the formulation of public talks, demonstrations and school group activities that are delivered by the farm team

• To work with the Director in the development of engagement, learning and community projects, compilation of relevant grant applications or other fundraising, and in relevant matters of the Trust’s public profile

• To contribute, as part of the management team, to the broader operation and promotion of Almond Valley

Required Qualities

• A museum professional with at least three years’ experience of working in museums at a curatorial/management level.

• An understanding of theories and practices of learning, and appropriate experience in the techniques of engagement and interpretation.

• A good communicator; having a wonderful way with words, pictures and other media, and a broad digital competency.

• An affinity with children and families who enjoy a great day out at Almond Valley, sharing a sense of fun and a fertile imagination.

• A creative thinker, happy to find their own path and devise imaginative solutions to any problems they may encounter. Someone with an ambition to make a difference

In line with other posts at Almond Valley, a 40 hour week is worked (normally 9-5 with a paid lunch break). This is normally Monday to Friday, but occasional weekend working may be required, perhaps serving one weekend in six as Responsible Officer.

Application Deadline: Wednesday 14/02/2024