The closing date for this job has passed.

National Trust

Archived: Curator (Urban & Social History)

£38,077 pa

Permanent f/t (37.5 hrs pw)


Ref: IRC63219


The National Trust is significantly investing in curatorship, increasing the number of curators and developing our capability and confidence across the organisation. Curators at the Trust are influential and collaborative, working with a wide range of people and using their knowledge and understanding to influence care for our collections and places, develop research agendas and create high quality, dynamic presentation, interpretation and programming.

Working as part of our Midlands Curator team of 8 (and the wider Consultancy team) you’ll be responsible for the Birmingham portfolio (including the Back to Backs, The Roundhouse, Clent Hills and other projects), The Workhouse as well as supporting the development of social history across the region.  You’ll have the challenge of both looking after our places and finding ways of making them relevant to people today.

Although you will be based at our Birmingham Hub you’ll work closely with our Alcester Consultancy team.

What it’s like to work here

The Midlands is a large region with rural counties such as Herefordshire and Lincolnshire as well as large towns and cities such as Birmingham.  Our places encompass the landscapes of the Peaks and the Shropshire Hills, country houses such as Calke Abbey and Shugborough, as well as important landmarks of social history such as The Workhouse and the Birmingham Back to Backs.

What you’ll be doing

As an influential Curator, you’ll work in collaboration with multi-disciplinary teams to create new ways of managing and interpreting the cultural aspects of our properties. You’ll do this through researching and interpreting the stories and places of local people as well as drawing on national narratives of domestic, social and industrial history.

As part of The National Trust’s 10 year strategy we are exploring how the National Trust can help look after heritage and green space beyond our ownership.  Our focus for this in the Midlands is Birmingham where we already look after the Back to Backs, the Clent Hills and the Roundhouse (in a pioneering new partnership with the Canal and River Trust). We are also leading a coalition of partners to develop a sustainable future for the nationally significant Grade II* listed Moseley Road Baths in Balsall Heath, and will soon be turning our attention to curating a series of provocative and engaging ‘pop-ups’ in the city in partnership with others.

You’ll also be working with the team at the Workhouse, to redevelop the visitor experience and open up new spaces, such as ‘Firbeck’, which was originally a maternity hospital and then became a children’s home as well as accommodation for elderly women with dementia. You’ll be the Curator for the project, which essentially asks “Are we any better at providing care today than we were in Victorian times?”

You’ll help to shape new external partnerships and research frameworks as well as planning and delivering new interpretation. Working as part of a team of regional Curators you’ll find ways to involve and reflect the diverse population of the Midlands.

You’ll also have The National Trust’s 10 year strategy at the forefront of your mind which asks us to create “experiences that move, teach and inspire”.  This gives permission to explore new ways of sharing our places, moving beyond current modes of engagement to a more participative way of working, where the audience is at the heart of what we do.  We need to find new ways of involving local communities as well reflecting the diverse population of the Midlands. You will ensure that everything we do balances our need to care for our places, retaining the “Spirit of Place” that makes each property unique and ensure they are truly “for ever, for everyone”. .

At the National Trust we believe that ‘People make places and places make people’ so this is your opportunity to make a real difference.

Who we’re looking for

You’ll be an experienced Curator with the ability to understand the history of our places and collections, connecting with contemporary ideas and narratives to make them accessible and relevant to people today.  You’ll also need to have:

  • Experience of building relationships and working collaboratively with a range of internal and external stakeholders
  • The ability to influence, inspire and work with external partners
  • A curiosity about the way in which our places can connect to the enduring themes of poverty, welfare, housing, urbanisation and migration.
  • Creativity and innovation
  • A broad understanding of the principles of participation and audience development
  • A successful track record of leading high quality and creative interpretation, presentation and programming
  • Experience of commissioning, undertaking and disseminating research
  • Knowledge of current best practice in relation to care and management of buildings and collections including Museum Accreditation standards
  • The ability to work in mixed discipline teams, at pace

 The package

Looking after you

  • Health cash plan – from as little as £2.81 per month for you and your dependents
  • Pension contribution match up to 10%
  • EAP and proactive Health and Wellbeing
  • Discounted gym membership

Looking after your career

  • Grow your career through professional training courses across the Trust
  • Develop your skills with an internal secondment
  • Pay review linked to values and behaviours, commitment to progression
  • Income protection due to illness

Unique to Us

  • Work in some of the most beautiful, iconic and unique locations in the UK
  • Free entry to NT properties for you, a guest and your children (under 18)
  • 20% off in our retail and catering outlets
  • Discount up to 35% off a National Trust holiday cottage booking

Closing Date: 4th April 2018

For more information and to apply, please follow:

Image: Roundhouse Birmingham

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