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Senior Programme Manager

National Trust
Closing date
3 Mar 2024

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Charities / Not For Profit
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time
Job Function
Programme Manager


We are looking for an exceptional Senior Programme Manager to lead a programme to invest in the development of some of the National Trust’s amazing gardens.

The National Trust cares for a varied portfolio of some beautiful and spectacular gardens. These are places of historic significance, of joy, of colour, of peace and of playfulness. But we want to do more. You’ll use your exceptional programme management skills to lead a project to invest in a carefully-selected cohort of gardens so that we can unlock their potential to attract visitors and create great, memorable experiences.

 This is an 18-month fixed term contract, and we will consider flexible working patterns. Because this is a national programme, some national travel, including overnight stays, will be required.


What it's like to work here


This is an exciting time to be working at the National Trust. Our places are much loved by our existing visitors. We wish build on this success by both improving our offer for those that already visit, inspiring others to come and have great experiences at our amazing places, and by making our places relevant and accessible for all.


The National Trust is full of people who are passionate about nature, history and beauty, and committed to professional excellence. The Senior Programme Manager is a national role within the Curation and Experiences Directorate, so you’ll get to use your full range of skills and see how the organisation functions at its bests. The National Trust is a matrix organisation, so you’ll be working with diverse stakeholders across multiple properties and regions, using your skills to draw on the talents of staff across the organisation.


What you'll be doing


Reporting to the Head of Planning & Programmes, Curation and Experiences, and taking direction from a Programme Board, you’ll lead this programme through the feasibility stage to a delivery-ready set of projects meeting clear benefit and return-on-investment criteria.


The work will include helping us finalise the short-list of places for investment, testing our assumptions – notably the commercial potential of our proposals – commissioning garden design and developing compelling business cases informed by market appraisal and audience insight. All the while helping us think through the challenges and choices we face, ensuring everyone is engaged and communicated with effectively, and keeping us focussed and on track.


Your primary role will be to provide the necessary leadership, co-ordination and organisation to lead us through feasibility to set up an effective and well-managed programme of investment and unlock the potential of these amazing gardens. You’ll establish the programme structure, controls and processes, using your experience working with diverse stakeholders to develop commercial and business plans, communicating clearly and confidently, while helping us work through the challenges and questions that a programme of this size and complexity faces.


Who we're looking for


You can view the full role profile for this role in the document attached, this is just to provide a full picture of what is possible in this role, we’d love to hear from you if you have:


  • A background of working on relevant programmes and/or transferable skills and knowledge
  • Experience of the feasibility, set-up and delivery phases of complex programmes. 
  • A Proven track record of scoping, shaping and planning programmes for strategic benefit.
  • Great organisational skills, the ability to move at pace and provide appropriate structure and control, including establishing and navigating programme and organisational governance.
  • Excellent communication, facilitation, problem-solving and stakeholder management skills working within a matrix environment; confidence working with senior leaders. You will need excellent verbal and written communication skills to make the case for investment at all levels of the organisation.
  • Strong leadership skills with the ability to communicate with clarity. Experience working in a matrix environment, influencing and motivating others without direct line management.
  • Knowledge of Change Management processes and practices and experience of using them to drive transformational change.
  • Programme Management qualification (MSP or similar).


The package

The National Trust has the motto ‘For everyone, for ever’ at its heart. We’re working hard to create an inclusive culture, where everyone feels they belong. It’s important that our people reflect and represent the diversity of the communities and audiences we serve. We welcome and value difference, so when we say we’re for everyone, we want everyone to be welcome in our teams too.


  • Substantial pension scheme of up to 10% basic salary


  • Free entry to National Trust places for you, a guest and your children (under 18)


  • Tax-free childcare scheme


  • Rental deposit loan scheme


  • Season ticket loan


  • Perks at work discounts such as gym memberships, shopping discount codes, cinema discounts


  • Holiday allowance up to 32 days relating to length of service, plus holiday purchase scheme, subject to meeting minimum criteria.


  • Flexible working whenever possible


  • Employee assistance programme


  • Free parking at most Trust places


  • Independent financial advice



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