Operations Manager

Organisation: The National Trust for Scotland

Salary: £43,050 - £47,667 per annum & EBCU Allowance £3,800

Location: Fife


The purpose is to deliver, develop and optimise property facilities and services to our members and visitors in line with the Trust’s core purpose, principles, priorities, rules, performance standards and in relation to:
 regional properties;
 special & priority projects;
 the conservation of the properties and contents;
 promotion of heritage related to the properties;
 visitor enjoyment;
 financial sustainability; and
 staff and volunteers.


The Operations Manager will be based at one of the Fife properties, reporting to the Regional Director for the Edinburgh & East Region of the Trust’s Built Heritage properties. The role is the operational lead and accountable manager for the leadership of the cluster of properties, working collaboratively with the property teams in support of development and strategic direction.

The post holder will be responsible for effective people, operations and budget management within the context of the strategies, policies, procedures and rules of the Trust.

Further, and in relation to this, ensure the properties are managed consistently and professionally and to the required standards.

It is also a visible and senior management role where, in addition to the general operations management of the properties in pursuit of their aims and objectives, the post holder will be responsible for the development of the properties operating business planning process (working with the Property Teams and Business Manager for the Region who oversees this process) and utilising key sources of information and needs (e.g. conservation management plan; visitor/market research) to present effective and accountable operational budget and plans that underpin the properties financial performances, visitor experience, conservation delivery, reputation and maintenance.

Inputting and overseeing the operational development of the property cluster namely Falkland Palace, Kellie Castle, Hill of Tarvit, Balmerino Abbey and Sailors Walk. The Operations Manager will be constantly and consistently leading the development of visitor services excellence, commercial and enterprising activity and change, ensuring place and content is engaging through interpretation and services and is the general custodian of its conservation and educational obligations.

The Operations Manager will also manage the non-visited properties allocated to the cluster.

A key feature of the role will also be assisting the Regional Director with the management of the local Members Centre relationship.

The Operations Manager will also be heavily involved in the planning, co-ordination and opening of any new projects, working closely with the Regional Director, Falkland Project Director, advisory panels and regional team.

The Operations Manager’s responsibilities include:
 financial management for the cluster – hold detailed and up to date awareness of off the property positions in partnership with the Business Manager;
 develop effective operational plans;
 leading the provision of excellent internal and external customer service and visitor experience;
 actively lead and promote a safe working environment, where the health, safety and wellbeing of visitors, staff, volunteers and contractors come first. Working with the regional management team to ensure compliance across all relevant areas;
 develop and maintain a detailed understanding of the conservation principles and how they underpin our work. Building a strong working knowledge of the significance, character and profile of each property;
 fostering positive and productive relationships with internal and external stakeholders;
 understanding and cascading the Trust’s strategic objectives and values into local plans and objectives;



 No formal required but experience in similar industry essential.
 A full, clean driving licence for driving in the UK is essential.


 Extensive experience in large-scale visitor attractions and events.
 Direct experience of property / multi-site operational supervisor or management where customer services and trading are primary features (e.g. retailing, hospitality, foods, theatre, events, leisure).
 Team management, mentoring, facilitating and coaching experience. Formal operational management training within services environment desirable.
 Demonstrable experience of business development and business planning, notably: revenue development, partnerships and affinities, new trading, concept development, change management, events programmes.
 Effective stakeholder management experience, notable examples: media, funding sources, local government.
 Demonstrable experience of managing Health and Safety in the workplace; formal training or personal development in this area desirable.
 Experience of responsibility for marketing and promotional planning and delivery, or participation in marketing and promotional initiatives.
 Heritage, theatre, events sector experience highly desirable.

Behaviors and Values

 Creates a positive and innovative atmosphere which encourages people to commit themselves to the task in hand and where necessary, go beyond the call of duty in order to achieve key objectives.
 Smooths relationships when difficult circumstances prevail and develops a culture of trust.
 Generally, motivates people to give their best results, praising them when things go well and appraising them of improvements which can and should be made.
 Takes decisions as appropriate whilst at the same time ensuring others do likewise.
 Continually seeks out opportunity, practicing and encouraging a culture of excellence.
 Seeks ways of perfecting things, raising standards, reducing errors and overcoming omissions.
 Provides the best solutions in terms of quality and cost.
 Brings a sense of urgency to situations, demonstrate an active approach, be willing to get involved in order to increase the pace and achieve goals and objectives.


 Operational responsibility for managing five sites and a residential tenancy in Fife: Falkland Palace, Kellie Castle, Hill of Tarvit, Balmerino Abbey; Sailors Walk and St Andrews student accommodation.

People Management
 Directly line managing five members of staff; wider cluster team of around 40 members of staff and over 250 volunteers.
 Leads multi-disciplinary teams including visitor services, collections care, retail, catering events and gardening.
 Works closely with regionally based specialists such as conservators and buildings surveyors.
 Play an active part in the on-going development of conservation management plans, working cross-functionally with regional management colleagues and with consultancy services specialists, either: those assigned to their region and including curatorial, conservation and estates management staff, or; nationally based technical and functional services and including for example, archaeology and nature conservation.
 The Operations Manager leads and inspires the wider team, including property staff and volunteers through on-going activity as well as when the management of change is required.

Property Management
 Operations Manager supported by the Visitor Services Manager or Visitor Services Supervisor takes the leading role in the delivery of property performance. Under the guidance and supervision of the Regional Director, the Operations Manager is central to ensuring focus on delivering against property plans and objectives and will assume responsibility for effective direct leadership where required or cross-functional management.
 Acts as a two-way conduit and facilitator between properties and Trust central services and specialists, to ensure necessary progress in relation to property plans (and other plans as appropriate), projects and overall alignment of work and activity in line with Trust standards and requirement.
 Supports property staff in maintaining positive and productive relations with local community, tourism, culture and heritage bodies and stakeholders. S/he supports the teams to seek out new productive relations, whether locally or more widely for the benefit of the property. S/he acts as an external networker and advocate for the property, with membership of appropriate external bodies in the property’s geographical area, or through the regional management team.
 Responsible for the process of business and operational planning for their properties.

Financial Management
 The Operations Manager is the business leader for the properties and working with the support of the Visitor Services Manager, Property Teams and Commercial Enterprises team will plan and deliver innovative product and sales opportunities, integrated with the heritage site and particular visitor profile for that property / market.

Health, Safety and the Environment
 The Operations Manager undertakes duties under the Health and Safety Policy, Safe Systems of Work and compliance including convening and chairing a group Health and Safety forum if applicable. S/he ensures effective support is achieved from Health and Safety/ compliance advisors / coordinators assigned to the region and ensures property staff and volunteers adhere to their obligations in line with stated Trust systems, policies, procedures and approaches to ensure the health, safety and environment under the Health and Safety policy and their job description.

Strategic Development of the NTS
The Operations Manager leads, champions and supports the strategic development of the Region, through participation in national initiatives, projects and working group activity as required and appropriate.

This role is one for which the duties, responsibilities or accountabilities of the role require you to become a member of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme, administered by Disclosure Scotland. This role may involve regulated work with children and/or vulnerable adults.

Application Deadline: Friday 21/10/2022