South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries

Collections Manager - Bristol Aero Collection Trust

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced and talented professional Collections Manager to join Aerospace Bristol, a new museum which opened in 2017 Aerospace Bristol tells the story of over 100 years of aerospace design and manufacturing. The museum has learning at its heart and aims to inspire, entertain and inform present and future generations through their understanding of, and engagement with, the stories and collections of Bristol’s aerospace industry – past, present and future. It is also home to the last Concorde ever built and the last to fly when it returned to its UK birthplace in Bristol.

Overview of the Role

The Collections Manager is a permanent post and will provide overall strategic direction and managerial responsibility for the collections, staff and volunteers. The role requires outstanding collections and people management skills. There is a small collections team and body of volunteers already in place, working on the restoration and conservation of objects and exhibition maintenance. The Collections Manager will report directly to the Executive Director as part of a Senior Management team. The collection covers both industrial and social history items and therefore includes very large and very small objects, ranging from aeroplanes and engines to jewellery and uniforms, alongside a substantial and nationally-significant paper and photographic archive.

Job Purpose Key areas of work will include:

• Provide strategic leadership for collections management and related activities, identifying and championing best practice with particular reference to Museum Accreditation and PD5454 Archive Standards.

• Ensure collections are at the heart of the museum and its activities, policies and practices.

• Deliver and monitor the Collections Development Plan, Collections Conservation Management Plan and associated policies and plans as required to meet Museum Accreditation and Archive Accreditation, to take the museum forward.

• Develop the museum’s exhibition offer to best practice standards, working in partnership with our Learning and Community Engagement Manager to ensure an offer that is vibrant and accessible to all, while generating income to support the delivery.

• Manage the content of the collections section of the museum’s website and contribute content for newsletters.

• Identify, establish and maintain partnerships with key museum and archive organisations, community groups and initiatives as well as sustaining links with delivery partners.

• Ensure the development and maintenance of all documentation systems and supervision of collections in line with the Spectrum standards.

• Promote use of the collections with the maintenance and development of the museum’s integrated collections management system.

• Develop digital access to the collections.

• Develop knowledge and understanding of the collections, their contents and conservation requirements through research.

• Have due diligence for the Health & Safety implications of the various types of the collections at all times, whether static or working, on display or in store.

• Work with staff and volunteers to continue the conservation and restoration programme for the collections allowing for public access.

• Provide leadership to encourage the collections team and other staff and volunteers to develop strategies for bringing the collections to life.

• Ensure the integrity of the museum site and its buildings is considered as key to the interpretation of the collections in context.

• Manage and balance the collections budget

• Collate, analyse and act on evaluation of collections management as part of the wider HLF project

• Work with the staff of other heritage, archive and community organisations to develop collections management in its broadest sense

• Maintain an up-to-date knowledge of best practice in museum and archives collections management in order to provide the best possible service

• Seek out opportunities to learn new skills, and also take responsibility for the relevant induction, training and development of staff and volunteers

• Be an effective member of the Senior Management team

Knowledge, Experience and Skills

The successful candidate will have a passion for collections and will have already have substantial experience of the museum, archive or heritage sector. The capability to lead a team of paid staff and volunteers is essential, as is being people focused and outcome orientated. Specific requirements are:


1. Relevant degree appropriate to the role. Equivalent professional experience within the sector will also be considered.

2. Demonstrable experience of professional collections management development and delivery

3. Good written and verbal communication skills, including through social media and public presentation

4. Project management experience, ideally within a new or transformed attraction or exhibition.

5. Demonstrable experience of working with large objects and archives

6. Experience of budget management, numerical and financial management ability

7. Flexible attitude to work to suit the operation of the museum

8. Good written and verbal communication skills including public presentation

9. Creativity and problem solving, able to provide innovative and practical solutions and exploit new opportunities

10. Excellent team working, people-management, communication and organisational skills.

11. Awareness of H&S and in particular the requirements relating to these types of collections


1. HLF project experience

2. Sound knowledge of the Accreditation Schemes

3. Understanding the latest approaches in interpretation and exhibition design

4. Visitor services experience

5. Experience of working with volunteers

Terms and conditions

• The offered salary is commensurate with experience.

• 37.5 hours per week, with some evening and weekend work as required, with notice. Hours can be flexible.

• 25 days paid holiday per year (plus bank holidays).

Bristol Aero Collection Trust is an equal opportunities employer.

Please write a covering letter of no more than 2 sides A4 (minimum font 11 point) addressing each point in the person specification, explaining why you would like this job and how you would approach to the challenge. Please enclose an up-to-date CV including current salary, notice period and contact details for your two most relevant referees (please indicate if they can be contacted immediately or not). The closing date for receipt of applications is Monday 25 February 2019. An email copy is to be sent to Alternatively, hard copies can be sent to: Helen Brown Head of Finance and Administration Aerospace Bristol Hayes Way Patchway Bristol BS34 5BZ Interviews will be held during the week commencing w/c 4 March and 11 March 2019 If you already know that you cannot make any days during this week, please provide alternative dates with your application, stating when you would be available for interview.

Organisation name: Bristol Aero Collection Trust

Contact name: Lloyd Burnell

Contact email:

Contact phone number: 01179315315

Contact website:

Type: Full-time (permanent)

Salary: £28,000 to £35,000 pa. dependent upon experience

Location: Bristol

Deadline for completed applications: Monday 25 February 2019

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