Transform a huge variety of spaces as part of our Programmes team

Published : Tue 20th Sep

 As the National Trust expands its portfolio of properties and projects, several new roles have been created to develop and deliver meaningful projects across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Here, Senior Programme Manager, Emma Boulton, explains what successful candidates can expect from the opportunities on offer, and how their hard work will play a vital role in transforming and shaping the Trust’s expansive portfolio of spaces, places, and projects for many years to come.

I’m a Chartered Projects Surveyor and have been working within the construction industry for over 19 years. I’ve been at the National Trust for eight years – starting as a Programme Manager for the renewables programme and then moving through a few different roles. Now, I’m one of three Senior Programme Managers that sit within the Trust’s Group Programme Model. Within my area, I’m responsible for the Trust’s Commercial Investment Programme, which covers our Holidays, Food & Beverage, and Retail businesses.  It deals with infrastructure improvements and refurbishment of holiday cottages, retail, and food and beverage spaces – whether that’s because we’re looking to grow, to update or simply maintain them – across our whole property portfolio and within all our regions.

Our work is all about refreshing these spaces – not only for aesthetic purposes, but also with a view to making them more sustainable, so that these spaces can remain open and in use for the longer-term. We’re looking at things like renewable energy, and ensuring our spaces are accessible so that everyone can visit and enjoy them.

Why is this an exciting time to join the team?

The new model, introduced in late 2021, has seen our pipeline and portfolio of projects and properties grow quite significantly. As a result, we now have a number of exciting opportunities for two Senior Programme Managers,two Project Managers, and three Senior Project Coordinators to join our team in the Commercial Investment Programme and help us to shape – and transform – the multitude of projects we plan to deliver in the coming months and years.

It’s an incredibly exciting and varied area to work within, given the national coverage of our programme and my team. We work on just about anything and everything you can imagine – be it coastal properties down on Brownsea Island, cafés on the tip of Cornwall or the far north of Northern Ireland, places in the Lake District, and anything in between.

What will each role involve and what experience do you need?

A huge element of the Programme is infrastructure improvement, which – naturally – is all about buildings. For example, we currently have a huge pipeline of properties we’re considering either renovating or converting into holiday cottages for our Holidays business.

Our new Senior Programme Managers willplay a vital role in the planning and implementation of a wide range of projects, and utilise their extensive experience of programme management to help us create transformational and cultural change within our Holidays business. Ideally, we’re looking for someone who flourishes in a complex but highly collaborative environment; someone who shares our passion for conservation, and has an eagerness to share their knowledge and experiences in order to help others. They’ll have a demonstrable track record of delivering complex projects – including defining resources, leading multi-million-pound procurements, securing projects teams, and more – and mentoring a diverse, passionate team. An ability to communicate clearly and confidently with senior leaders, right up to the Executive level, would also be desirable.

Then, our new Project Managers will work alongside them, leading and managing construction-focused projects across a wide variety of properties (anything from refurbishing quirky cottages to outdoor accommodation), creating appraisals and feasibilities, and building business cases for each project. They’ll be an invaluable member of the team, liaising with all our relevant stakeholders, and making sure we’re able to build these projects up over time and create high quality spaces for the Trust. Here we’re looking for an experienced construction specialist; someone with extensive experience working in construction-led, infrastructure environments. Given the broad nature of our projects and the national coverage of our programme, experience of managing multiple stakeholders within a complex, diverse organisation is also highly preferable.

The Senior Project Coordinators will support our Project Managers and Food & Beverage teams and provide administrative assistance to projects being delivered. Whether they’re capturing minutes during meetings with contractors, acting as a day-to-day contact for stakeholders, or setting up meetings, they’ll be the glue keeping any given project together, and making sure it’s delivered on time, on budget, and to a high standard. For this role, we’re looking for someone with enthusiasm and a detail-oriented approach. Ideally, they’ll have at least one or two years of experience working within a fast-paced, large-scale, complex organisation, with exposure to the kind of long-term, conservation-led projects we create within our team.

What do you offer in return, for anyone considering these roles?

Within the Commercial Investment Programme, we have a very collaborative and supportive approach to our work. We’re keen to hear and listen to ideas from everyone, regardless of our colleague’s level of seniority, and are always looking to encourage colleagues to progress and develop their career. On the back of our latest restructure, we put together the Academy, which allows people from entry level right through to Chartership to progress their careers in a way that best suits them. For example, already within my team, they're all signing up to the Association of Project Managers as part of the Academy.

All three roles will see candidates become key players within a national, high-profile programme at the Trust. Given the scale of our task and our growing portfolio of projects, this is a great opportunity for candidates to make a meaningful difference to properties the length and breadth of Britain. Furthermore, each role offers the chance to develop assets that are fit for the long-term future of the Trust, and provide memorable experiences to each and every one of our visitors.  

To find out more about each role and how to apply, please click the relevant role link below: