Experience Team Officer
Auckland Castle Trust (ACT) was set up by Jonathan Ruffer in 2012 with an ambitious and radical vision: to transform a 900-year-old bishop’s palace from an unknown private dwelling into a vibrant world class heritage attraction and catalyst for economic and social regeneration.
Within 5 years, this £70m project will attract over 200,000 visitors and £4 million per year into the town and surrounding area. ACT will provide new direct opportunities through employment, volunteering and participation to the local people of County Durham and aims to stimulate opportunities for enterprise linked to the development of this internationally significant visitor destination.
The first few years of Auckland Castle Trust (ACT) have seen the site secured. The project now extends to a series of related elements, both in Auckland Castle and in the nearby Market Place of the town itself. This includes;
- Restoration of Auckland Castle1, the palace home of the Prince Bishops of Durham for more than 800 years, with grade I listed architecture one of Europe’s largest private chapels, and the celebrated Zurbarán pictures, placed there 250 years ago as a plea for religious tolerance, will be fully restored to its original gothic opulence.
- An innovative re-interpretation of the Walled Garden: Dating back to the 17th Century, the Walled Garden will be re-imagined, complete with a contemporary glass restaurant and its own apprenticeship programme offering training in catering, horticulture, building skills and visitor services
- The Faith Museum: the first museum of its kind exploring faith in the British Isles from pre-history to the modern day
- A Spanish Gallery: Celebrating the Golden Age of Spanish and Latin American art
- A new Welcome Building in the Market Square
- A Mining Art Gallery: Using artworks painted by miners and about mining to celebrate the heritage of the North East
Work on much of the project is now well underway, with the buildings due to open in stages between 2017 and 2019.
Auckland Castle Trust is seeking to appoint an Experience Team Officer to ensure the delivery of exceptional standards of customer service and visitor welcome within ACT’s new portfolio of attractions.
As part of the newly established Commercial Department, this exciting new role will be crucial to the seamless running of our attractions. It involves taking ownership of premises and leading on all day to day matters whilst directing a team of Experience Team Assistants, apprentices and volunteers, in a specified attraction.
We require an enthusiastic, proactive and engaging individual to ensure that our visitors receive a truly world-class experience.
Key Outputs and Accountabilities
To lead and motivate the staff and volunteer teams to deliver an excellent visitor experience which is welcoming, inspiring and engaging and enables visitors to get the most out of their trip, resulting in high levels of satisfaction.
To meet and greet, inform and orientate our visitors, managing tickets sales and providing assistance to visitors with access needs. To manage the cash handling process
To deal with any emergencies, security incidents or accidents that may occur, coordinating a response from appropriate departments and ensuring that correct procedures are followed. To provide detailed incident reports.
To take ownership and oversight of the premises, ensuring that they meet the requirements of the Health and Safety Policy and Presentation Standards prior to opening and throughout the day. Escalating concerns through the appropriate channels as necessary.
To maintain a prominent 'on the floor’ presence, anticipating the needs of visitors and the Visitor Services team as appropriate. To observe and act on feedback, pre-empting issues by addressing them quickly.
To work collaboratively with other departments in ensuring a consistent and seamless service is provided to our visitors, challenging colleagues where necessary.
To lead staff and volunteer briefings to ensure that the workforce is fully informed throughout.
To assist with embedding, reviewing and updating operating procedures as required.
To respond to complaints, taking ownership and prompt but appropriate action to resolve any issues.
To develop an exceptional knowledge of our attractions, their history and collections, whilst keeping pace with ACT’s rapid evolution through appropriate training and development activities.
To comply with all ACT policies and procedures.
To work on a rota basis (5 days out of 7) including regular weekend, bank holiday and occasional evening work.This role may be transferable to any venue in the ACT portfolio and may involve leading a cluster of attractions on a rota basis.
NVQ level 3 in Management or a related discipline or 3 years’ experience in a middle management role
Experience of a similar role in a visitor attraction / museum / gallery or customer care environment with a culture of exceptional customer service
A proven track record of effectively leading, managing and motivating a team - able to anticipate the needs of the team and support as required
Strong people management skills
Experience of managing health and safety in a working environment including emergency, security, fire and first aid procedures of visitors, staff and buildings
An ability to resolve incidents and issues to satisfactory levels whilst remaining calm, flexible and positive throughout
Dynamic and proactive, highly organised, able to prioritise and delegate tasks
Good presentation skills, able to talk confidently to visitors
Excellent ICT skills
Experience of cash handling procedures
Previous attraction management experience
Ability to demonstrate an interest in history or the arts
Experience of preparing rotas and staff training
Current first aid certificate
Experience of leading and inspiring volunteer teams