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Hampshire County Council-Director - Sir Harold Hillier Gardens-Fri, 08/10/2018 - 8:55am

Director - Sir Harold Hillier Gardens


Hampshire County Council
Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Romsey

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Job Details

Job Description 

Salary Range: £46,225 - £52,024 per annum (Applications for relocation allowance up to 10k will be considered)
Work Location: Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Romsey
Hours per week: 37
Contract type: Permanent
Employing Organisation:  Hampshire County Council, Culture Communities and Business Services Department
Closing Date: 2 September 2018
Interviews: 4 & 5 October 2018
Further details go to:


Do you have what it takes to run a top class visitor attraction, garden, and plant collection? Do you have great leadership skills and appreciate the value of an internationally important botanic garden? If so, we are looking for a new and dynamic Director to take the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens (SHHG) though the next exciting phase of its development.

The unique selling point of the site is an internationally renowned and constantly developing plant collection, with 12,000 different species; it is home to 14 national plant collections and over 400 Champion Trees, more than any other site in the United Kingdom.  It has become  a major attraction welcoming over 200,000 visitors, including 21,000 members, every year, and numbers are growing.

The new Director will focus upon implementing our major capital programme supported by a strong and continued commitment to drive up membership and visitor numbers. We need a candidate who will bring both commercial acumen and a commitment to the charitable objectives of the Gardens that will help deliver a sustainable future for this amazing asset.

Ideally, we are looking for someone with commercial expertise and experience within a similar attraction who will take forward the business strategy for the Gardens with enthusiasm, sensitivity, and drive. Effective leadership and relationship management skills will be key to success and if you are that candidate we would like to hear from you.

 Please note, interviews for this role will take place over 2 days and candidates are required to attend on both days.



Job Purpose:

To lead, manage and develop the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens as a successful visitor attraction and botanic garden by continuing to grow its various income streams in order to safeguard the future of this internationally important site.


Role Responsibilities:

Accountabilities including financial:

  • Develop/implement a short/long/medium term business strategy
  • Effective fundraising for capital projects and to achieve the 50 year master plan
  • Maximise income for targeted reinvestment from SHHG’s commercial activities and its commercial partners
  • Ensure SHHG objectives are met within the agreed budget


  • Lead, develop and maintain the organisation through effective performance management and business planning processes
  • Where appropriate explore, maintain and develop commercial partnerships to maximize income within the ethos of the Gardens
  • Manage SHHG as a charity
  • Implement development strategies to meet the 50 year plan
  • Actively lead management of change and associated plans and strategies
  • Manage Health & Safety for staff, volunteers and visitors and take responsibility  for site security, including cash handling (visitors and restaurant)
  • Contribute to achieving departmental objectives as a member of the Department’s Senior Management Group


  • Maintain the current transformation plans at the Gardens and lead the change management process dynamically and positively
  • Plan development strategies within financial targets and constraints in order to enhance facilities (HCC funding and donated money)
  • Attract visitors through identifying and meeting the needs of customers
  • Maintain and develop pre-eminent international plant collections and worldwide contacts.                                                 
  • Maximise educational output
  • Be a significant contributor to conservation


  • Communicate effectively with the Trust Board and Gardens’ Advisory Committee through the production of timely and focused reports and presentations that build and develop confidence in the operation of the Gardens
  • Develop and enhance  the profile of SHHG at a local, national and international level
  • Represent and promote HCC and SHHG in the horticultural/environmental/visitor attraction arenas
  • Collaborate with a wide range of botanic gardens and relevant agencies


  • Create marketing opportunities which exploit innovative and new technologies to attract a diverse range of visitors and memberships, whilst enhancing the visitor experience. Linking opportunities directly with Hampshire County Council for maximum effectiveness.

Corporate and statutory initiatives - equalities/health and safety/e-government/ sustainability:

  • Ensure statutory, corporate and departmental requirements and policies are applied and followed.
  • Take personal responsibility for the safety of visitors and staff within a  garden open to the public

Role Requirements:

Essential Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills and Experience:

  • Degree (preferably linked with environment/botany/ horticulture)
  • Proven leadership, management and visitor attractions experience (resources, commercial, capital project management, Health & Safety and personnel).
  • Commercial acumen
  • Fundraising experience
  • Knowledge of horticulture, conservation or related field
  • Experience of working effectively in a multi-disciplinary team environment
  • Presentation and public speaking skills, maintaining and developing relationships with high profile individuals, partnership and funding organisations
  • Previous experience of managing a community resource
  • Knowledge and/or experience of the charitable sector


Desirable Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills and Experience:

  • Working with volunteers and the community
  • Previous experience of working on a similar site in a management role

Working Conditions:

  • Display screen equipment user
  • Job characteristics to include lone working
  • Driving to include the use of own vehicle for work purposes

 Further details go to:


Contact details for an informal discussion:

Wolfgang Bopp on 01794 369307 or John Tickle, Assistant Director, by  email



Hampshire County Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults. We expect all employees, workers and volunteers to share this commitment. We will ensure that all our recruitment and selection practices reflect this commitment.

Corporate Equalities Employment Policy:  In order to combat indirect discrimination, no unnecessary conditions or requirements will be applied to any for achieving equality of opportunity in its employment practices. All sections of the population will have equal access to jobs. No applicant or employee will receive less favourable treatment because of their gender, disability, age, ethnic or national origin, marital status, creed, sexuality, trade union activity or responsibility for dependants unless a Genuine Occupational Qualification (GOQ) applies. In order to combat indirect discrimination, no unnecessary conditions or requirements will be applied to which would have a disproportionately adverse effect on any one group.

Full Name 
Sir Harold Hillier Gardens