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Chair Bath Preservation Trust

Lead a change-making architectural and cultural heritage charity as Chair of Bath Preservation Trust and be at the forefront of the dialogue in its contributions to the Bath World Heritage Sites and the sustainable development of the city.

  • Location: Bath/London/Online
  • Salary: Unremunerated with reasonable expenses paid
  • Closing date: CLOSED FOR APPLICATIONS

Who we are

Bath Preservation Trust (BPT) campaigns for and promotes the conservation, sustainable enhancement and celebration of the unique historic built environment and amenity, green setting and global contributions of the City of Bath as a World Heritage Site. At its heart, are:

  • the principles of informed advocacy
  • learning for all
  • the provision of authentic heritage experiences at the four museums.

BPT was founded in 1934 as a small pressure group, with the object of protecting the city’s unique architectural heritage. Its first action was to fight plans to pull down parts of the picturesque Georgian city of Bath, to make way for a new road. The road was never built, and since this victory, BPT has saved hundreds more listed buildings from demolition. Today BPT has approximately 1,400 subscribing members from the UK and overseas supporting this crucial work.

BPT believes that the protection of the unique qualities of the city and its environs is vital to Bath’s success in creating and maintaining a sustainable and buoyant economy for the future. In a city with such a wealth of heritage, much of BPT’s role is in protecting the city’s green belting. Work involves engaging with those whose decisions determine the city’s future, inspecting and responding on planning applications in the conservation area and on listed building consent applications, providing informed statements at planning meetings and as expert witnesses at Public Enquiries. With prudent management, BPT is financially self-sufficient and independent of any controlling agency; a unique position for a heritage organisation to hold within the UK.

The advocacy and influence of BPT, and the role of the Board and its Chair is needed as much now as ever before.

BPT has two primary areas of work

  • Advocacy and campaigning for the sustainable and positive development of the World Heritage City of Bath
  • The provision of authentic heritage experiences at our museums

These activities are supported by learning experiences for people of all ages.

Advocacy and Campaigning

Our vision is for a thriving, accessible, green and liveable city where first-class contemporary design is respectful and sustainable, responding positively to the unique World Heritage setting.

Through our advocacy and campaigning activities, BPT seeks to influence positive change to facilitate a better future for the city of Bath and its rural environs and the society, environment and economy it supports.

We campaign for:

  • Design Excellence – holistic, inclusive, transparent and bespoke individual approaches are necessary to achieve Design Excellence in Bath. The challenge is fascinating and important, to create contemporary, of the era design which is an active contributor to our unique World Heritage City. It encapsulates space and access, biodiversity and greening, wildlife connections to existing habitats, work and leisure, liveability and access to services, to create a place to be cherished now and in the future.
  • Sustainability – Bath should be a World Heritage City existing in equilibrium within its luxuriant green setting. If equilibrium is to be reached, the carbon emissions produced by Bath and its rural surrounds should be fully offset. This will only be achievable through a rapid and persistent reduction in our carbon emissions – both direct and indirect, whilst protecting and extending the green spaces. By understanding how much is absorbed by these important green spaces also makes their importance and value to us more significant.

Learning is interwoven throughout our activities, centred on the Countess of Huntingdon’s Chapel and throughout the city. Our advocacy and campaigns activity is positive and provides visionary leadership. Change-making advocacy is transforming the perception of BPT.

Museums

As well as its role in the local preservation of buildings, the protection of its many qualities and the engagement with decision-makers, BPT is a major provider in the tourist economy. It owns and runs four museums, which provide a valuable resource for the city and its many visitors:

Take a tour of No 1 Royal Crescent in all its splendour

www.futureproofcreative.co.uk

No. 1 Royal Crescent – a Grade I listed Georgian property, built to the designs of John Wood the Younger in 1767 – 1774 as the first house in the Royal Crescent. Operated as an historic house museum, No.1 underwent a major refurbishment in 2012-13. In 2021 a ground-breaking, exemplary new immersive experience was created, providing a guided tour exploring the social history of Georgian Bath.

Herschel Museum of Astronomy – the former home of siblings William, Caroline and Alexander Herschel, this Georgian era mid-terraced townhouse is where the planet Uranus was discovered on 13 March 1781. William was a renowned composer and avid amateur astronomer, building his own telescopes. Caroline was one of the first salaried female scientists in England, discovering many new comets. The museum tells the story of the Herschels and their importance to the world of astronomy, science and music.

Countess of Huntingdon’s Chapel – also known as the Museum of Bath Architecture, the collection explores the rich architectural history of Bath as it was transformed from a small medieval town to the world-famous Georgian city. The building is home to the archive of Bath Preservation Trust and the extensive Bath Buildings Record. The Chapel requires major capital investment and will become a centre for heritage learning, and a museum which interprets the architecture and design of Bath.

Beckford’s Tower and Landscape – built between 1826 and 1827, Beckford’s Tower is a building of high significance that was once home to one of the most important collections of books, furniture and art in Georgian England. It now stands as the only surviving example of the writer, collector and slave owner William Beckford’s architectural achievements.

Located in a prominent landscape setting to the north of Bath, the Tower has unrivalled views across the city and the setting of the World Heritage Site.

On the Historic England ‘At Risk’ register, the NLHF-funded Our Tower project will restore the building and reinterpret Beckford’s life and legacy equitably and appropriately.

About the role

Overview

The Chair of BPT will be a visible and active ambassador, will maintain and build on the success of the charity and will enable the delivery and renewal of the next strategic phase.

With a commitment to achieve impacts and outcomes for people and the communities of Bath and beyond, but also to realise the potential of what BPT represents for cultural heritage, for design excellence and sustainability in architecture and the built environment, the Chair will be a recognisable and trusted representative of the Board of Trustees.

The Chair will ensure the continued success of the capital projects and will keep abreast of the development plan, ensuring that BPT is meeting its objectives.  They will act as trusted advisor to the executive on its continued path out of Covid and be able to support with strategies to ensure recovery to pre-pandemic levels.

Bath Preservation Trust confronts contested heritage, leading difficult conversations through to resolution. It works with people, communities and other organisations to deal with these subjects appropriately, including any historic and contemporary impacts. The Chair will be a confident leader of discussion, skilled and inclusive in their approach to discourse and resolution.

Time Commitment, subcommittees and term

An average of 2-3 days per month, including time at BPT sites, events or meetings.

Trustees of BPT are appointed for an initial term of four years, and up to three consecutive terms may be served.

There are four meetings of the Board of Trustees per year, an AGM and several social events for Members and / or stakeholders.

Who are we looking for?

An enabler, connector and advocate, the values of the Chair should align with those of BPT. Acting as ambassador and public face of BPT, they will be a good communicator, trusted confidante and leader of the Board. They will provide leadership and ensure the Board and CEO are effective in the task of establishing and implementing BPT’s strategy and direction to achieve agreed objectives.

The Chair will be committed to:

  • The sustainable enhancement and conservation of the historic environment
  • The principles of design excellence
  • The importance of UNESCO and World Heritage Sites
  • Learning for all people
  • The equitable representation of historic narratives and contested heritage
  • Enabling mitigation and adaptation in response to the Nature and Climate Emergency

The Chair will ensure the Board operates lawfully and in line with statutory requirements and will act in partnership with the Chief Executive. An accomplished networker, they will connect BPT, its Trustees, the Chief Executive and senior management team with appropriate stakeholders to further the objectives, public benefit and reach of BPT, enabling opportunities for strategic growth.

The next Chair will establish and maintain strong, effective and constructive relationships with the Chief Executive and senior management team and will enable and support a democratic and inclusive culture throughout BPT. The Chair will maintain a robust, transparent and accountable governance model, resolving any conflicts of interest to ensure the integrity and independence of the charity is maintained. They will create the environment for a high performing Board of Trustees, CEO and senior management team.

Ensuring that strategic decision-making is founded on good judgement to advance the purpose and values of the organisation, they will similarly be skilled in identifying and mitigating areas of risk which might compromise BPT or its reputation. The next Chair will uphold and demonstrate aligned vision and values around EDI for this forward-looking organisation.


For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Rebekah Abbott | rebekah@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07538 270749

Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Rebekah Abbott

View profile

Welcome from the Chief Executive

Dear candidate,

Thank you for your interest in the role of Chair of Bath Preservation Trust (BPT) and I hope you will be encouraged to apply having found out more about our work and ethos.

BPT campaigns for and promotes the conservation, sustainable enhancement and celebration of the unique historic built environment and amenity, green setting and global contributions of the City of Bath as a World Heritage Site. At our heart are the principles of informed advocacy, learning for all, and the provision of authentic heritage experiences at our four museums, through partnership working and online.

We believe Bath deserves excellence in design and contemporary sustainable development which is inclusive of all people and improves social and economic opportunities without compromising our unparalleled built heritage and natural environment. Fundamentally, we are an organisation which seeks positive and constructive solutions to the present and future threats faced by Bath, its rural environs and the people, communities and businesses it supports. Our museums and collections provide inspiring experiences, learning and insights from the past which help people deepen their knowledge through narratives expressed appropriately, knowledgably and equitably.

Our campaigning work is extensive and at the forefront of town planning and conservation, with local experience of facilitating sustainable development of the historic environment in a World Heritage Site transferable nationally and internationally.

BPT is fortunate to have a passionate, expert and innovative team of staff, trustees and volunteers who work collaboratively to achieve big things. Our next Chair will help us realise and exceed our ambitions expressed in our Vision for 2030, and maintain our momentum as a forward thinking, inclusive and progressive charity.

Alex Sherman
Chief Executive


For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Rebekah Abbott | rebekah@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07538 270749

Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

Mission, Objectives and Values

Mission

Bath Preservation Trust campaigns for and promotes the conservation, sustainable enhancement and celebration of the unique historic built environment and amenity, green setting and global contributions of the City of Bath as a World Heritage Site.

At our heart are the principles of informed advocacy, learning for all, and the provision of authentic heritage experiences at our four museums, through partnership working and online.

Vision

We believe Bath deserves excellence in design and contemporary sustainable development which is inclusive of all people and improves social and economic opportunities without compromising our unparalleled built heritage and natural environment.

Our museums and collections provide inspiring experiences, learning and insights from the past which help people deepen their knowledge through narratives expressed appropriately, knowledgably and equitably.

We:

  • Promote our commitment to sustainable development for Bath and demonstrate the value of heritage in a changing world.
  • Advocate and campaign for the total public realm, a healthy environment and a thriving living city.
  • Champion forward-thinking and appropriate sustainable architecture and design worthy of the World Heritage City of Bath.
  • Continue the successful innovative development of, and increased access to, our museums through careful growth and targeted promotion.
  • Encourage and enable Bath citizens to take an active responsibility for the future welfare of the city via membership, volunteering and support.
  • Provide opportunities for learning for people of all ages in all areas of our work, supporting personal wellbeing and social inclusion.

Objectives

To be recognised as the key guardian of Bath’s rich cultural heritage and campaigner for the sustainable economic, social and environmental improvement of the city.

To become an exemplar in demonstrating Bath’s contribution to architecture, science and creativity through engagement and learning.

To work in the interests of Bath’s citizens by holding local government and developers to the highest standards of informed decision-making and sustainable, de-carbonised design.

To be, and to be seen as, an open, inclusive organisation welcoming all who share our passion for Bath and its wellbeing.

Values

The culture and activity of Bath Preservation Trust is led by the common values we share, and these demonstrate what all people can expect when they engage with our advocacy and campaigning, visit our museums, events or learning activities, or work with us:

  • Authentic: We convey information accurately, honestly and with care, engaging with and representing the voices and involvement of others alongside our own areas of expertise, as a reliable and trusted heritage charity.
  • Engaged: We are an active leader, collaborator and contributor in the community of Bath and its rural environs, and connected to communities of interest and heritage networks across the UK and internationally.
  • Inclusive: We seek to engage with as wide an audience as possible, providing accessible, safe-space museums and experiences. We are advocates for growth and development in Bath which is affordable, accessible and which supports the local economy, environment and population.
  • Informed: We are committed to lifelong learning for all as a valuable tool to increase understanding and knowledge and to support the health and wellbeing of people. We also learn from others to gain insights and shared knowledge about the past, the present and the future, and the way we deliver our services.
  • Responsible: We are responsible custodians and communicators of the charitable aims of BPT, the stories contained within our museums and collections, and of our role in Bath. We advocate for positive and sustainable development of the city and its environs and to limit the impacts of climate change.

We believe Bath deserves excellence in design and contemporary sustainable development which is inclusive of all people and improves social and economic opportunities without compromising our unparalleled built heritage and natural environment. Our museums and collections provide inspiring experiences, learning and insights from the past which help people deepen their knowledge through narratives expressed appropriately, knowledgably and equitably.

Looking to the Future

Bath Preservation Trust (BPT) has been on a journey of rapid change in recent years and has emerged from the global pandemic as a stronger, more resilient and more necessary organisation.

In 2021, a new Chief Executive joined the organisation, and early in 2022, Trustees adopted a new and ambitious corporate strategy. BPT’s Vision for 2030 describes the charity they will become – it is a statement of their intent and aspiration, and it sets out clearly how they will achieve this vision. Equity, diversity and inclusion is central to BPT’s ethos and they will continue to confront the reality of their contested heritage appropriately, providing safe spaces in which to question, to challenge, and to learn. In addition to this, the vision defines the sustainable social, environmental and economic impacts they will make and by which they will measure their success.

The next few years will see the four museums refreshed and made fit for the future, with BPT achieving net zero carbon emissions around these projects. In the face of the Climate Emergency, they will lead by example, implementing sustainable design and construction as well as advocating positive adaptation of historic buildings, and the public realm in Bath and beyond.


For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Rebekah Abbott | rebekah@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07538 270749

Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

We are committed to making all of our sites accessible to the fullest extent possible recognising limitations relating to the listed status of each. This includes full building restoration and refurbishment to increase accessibility. Access audits take place to inform appropriate temporary or permanent modifications.

We recognise accessibility may have many different meanings to different people and we will always explore appropriate options relating to individual need but also seek adjustments which respond to the following access requirements:

  • Physical and mobility
  • Sensory
  • Neurodivergent
  • Intellectual

Only one of our buildings has accessible facilities. None of the buildings are fully accessible due to the listed building status.

We can make reasonable adjustments including those for audio/visual purposes, such as large format screens, adjustable workstations, and temporary / semi-permanent mobility access.

Site specific details

No. 1 Royal Crescent:

  • Accessible toilet
  • Level access to front desk, introduction room, shop and toilet with lift to exhibition gallery, ground floor (Dining Room, Parlour and Gentleman’s Retreat) and basement level (Housekeeper’s Room and Servant’s Hall).
  • Immersive tours are hearing loop enabled with subtitles and large print scripts available from the front desk
  • Wheelchair available
  • Assistance dogs are welcome throughout the museum.
  • Further resources for neurodiverse visitors include a sensory bag, map and story, details can be found on our website

Herschel Museum of Astronomy:

  • A disabled parking space is situated outside the museum in New King Street
  • An audio tour is available for visitors who are blind or partially sighted, accompanied by a book of tactile images
  • Assistance dogs are welcome throughout the museum
  • A virtual tour is available to visitors with mobility problems on the ground floor; it is also possible to see Constructing the Heavens on a screen in the reception area
  • Tactile plans of the museum and garden are available with raised lettering and Braille
  • Workshop handling – replicas of objects such as Herschel’s polishing machine situated in the workshop are designed to be handled

Museum of Bath Architecture:

  • The Museum of Bath Architecture is housed in the Countess of Huntingdon’s Chapel
  • The entrance, shop and main museum room – which houses the museum’s permanent collection and changing exhibitions – are all level access
  • There are three steps up to the ‘Countess’ Room’ – which explains the history of Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, for whom the chapel was built – and three steps up to the back of the scale model of Bath
  • Assistance dogs are welcome throughout the museum
  • Museum toilets are located up three steps and then down a flight of stairs
  • There are seats located throughout the museum

Beckford’s Tower:

  • The museum is located on the first floor of the Tower building and access is up a flight of stairs. The Tower has 154 steps to the Belvedere at the top
  • A panoramic tour of the Tower and Museum on CD is available on request. Please contact the museum for further information
  • Beckford’s Tower has a small car park outside the main entrance of the building with space for 8 cars. Access to the car park is a sharp turn off Lansdown Road by the Tower Cottage
  • Further parking is available in the cemetery lay-bys along Lansdown Road
  • Assistance dogs are welcome throughout the museum

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Rebekah Abbott | rebekah@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07538 270749

Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

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    Thank you for your interest in this role.

    Please download the Role Description and Person Specification and complete this equality monitoring survey.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Bath Preservation Trust – Chair” into the subject field.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

    Rebekah Abbott | rebekah@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07538 270749

    Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

    We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief.

    All applications will be considered solely on merit.

    Applicants with a disability are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the role, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

    Timetable

    Closing date: 9 a.m. Monday 10th July 2023
    Candidates informed of outcome: By 5 p.m. Thursday 14th July 2023
    Interviews: Monday 24th July 2023 (in Bath)


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