Operations Manager

Organisation: Almond Valley Heritage Centre

Salary: £35,000

Location: Livingston


To effectively manage the profitable operation of Almond Valley Heritage Centre as a popular and happy visitor destination, generating the income and footfall necessary to support the Trust’s charitable purposes


Responsible for overseeing every step of the visitor journey. Firstly by looking at things from a visitor’s perspective to shape and market appealing products, then by ensuring clear messages and easy processes when planning a visit, culminating in delivery of brilliant, memorable, visitor experiences that cultivate an ongoing affinity with our customers. In parallel to this magic, to apply an astute head for business to drive income and make best economic use of our resources

Main Responsibilities

• To maintain a broad insight into the nature and behaviours of current and potential audiences through feedback, research, and ongoing dialogue. To maintain an informed understanding of the market in which we operate; of market trends, and of the nature of our competitors.

• To apply market insight to the planning and implementation of promotion, advertising, and communication activities that raise awareness and promote an appealing image of Almond Valley as a family visitor destination. To drive footfall as consequence

• To develop and manage special events, programmes, and activities that add to the core visitor product, enhance footfall and income, and extend market appeal or better year-round use of facilities.

• To manage pricing strategy, discounts and promotions, and develop new packages and products, including the private hire of facilities or other out-of-hours operations

• To manage relationships with our customers, maintaining friendly dialogue with our audiences through contributing to social media and other channels. Overseeing the handling of visitor queries, and taking the lead on service recovery if things go wrong.

• To line-manage the Operations team leader(s), and be responsible for all visitor services, tidy team, and cleaning staff; attending to their recruitment, training, performance and development

• To oversee and develop all aspects of the visitor experience, coordinating with the Farm & Facilities Manager, the Catering Manager, Curator and the Office Manager in their respective areas of activity to ensure an alignment that best serves the needs of our visitors, and our commercial interests.

• To work productively with other teams, especially when planing for the seasonal cycle of business (during which who-does-what may vary), in order to make best use of resources.

• To design and manage all aspects of the visitor-facing operations, devising and enforcing systems, operational standards, procedures, and record-keeping that ensures visitor satisfaction and promotes safe and efficient working.

• To oversee the management and ongoing development of the Almond Valley website and the associated back-office booking and sales functions. To manage the administration and processing of bookings, passes and other visitor products, and to timetable resources.

• To be responsible for the successful and profitable operation of the gift shop and effectively use of EPOS software and other technology to record sales, visitor statistics, stock levels and performance.

• To coordinate with, and contribute towards, the wider purposes of the Trust. Promoting and developing our playful family-facing brand while remaining in harmony with our wider purposes.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

Being the leader of a small team responsible for such a big range of activities calls for initiative, resourcefulness, flexibility and a give-it-a-go mentality. You’ll need to wear many hats. Keeping sight of the fun behind everything that we do also helps. The needs of the job requires an entrepreneurial instinct, and self reliant approach that has been shaped by relevant experience. Useful skills and judgement will have been acquired along the way

This experience is likely to have gained in commercially-focussed roles, providing insight into marketing and growing businesses, perhaps in the attraction, event or wider hospitality sectors. Insight into our family audience and empathy with them is important, while delivering happy experiences and satisfied customers should come as second nature.

You’ll have a head for business, seeing opportunities, knowing how to respond to them, and being bold when required.

You’ll think and act creatively to solve problems and create new opportunities, but at the same time be analytical and work logically through a process.

You’ll have a nice turn of phrase, expressing ideas simply and clearly, and ensuring a happy dialogue with the families and children who are our most important customers.

You’ll be a wise leader, getting the best out of your team, and making the best of every opportunity

You’ll be digitally literate and eager to explore the advantages of digital technologies

Practical Stuff

The post is based at Almond Valley. We work a 40 hour week, normally 9-5 or 8-4, working five days out of seven. With this senior post, we would expect some flexibility in working hours to suit the needs of the business.

The Operations Manager will report directly to the Director/CEO and may deputise for him in certain areas. They will lead and develop a team of between ten and twenty staff (depending of the season) engaged in visitor services, tidy team and cleaning duties. By rota, or other arrangement, the Operations Manager will serve as duty Responsible Officer

Application Deadline: Tuesday 14/02/2023