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Head of Collections and Heritage The Culture Trust, Luton

Spearhead the exciting next chapter of this progressive, Luton-based arts and culture charity as it leads on its mission to connect communities through culture and creativity.

  • Location: Wardown House, Museum & Gallery, LU2 7HA
  • Salary: £50,000
  • Closing date: 9 a.m. Thursday 11th July

Established in 2008, The Culture Trust, Luton is a vibrant and progressive independent charity with a mission ‘to connect communities through culture.’ They do this through their accredited museums, theatres, galleries, creative workspaces and Arts Centre in Luton. They attract over 240,000 people each year to their stunning heritage sites: The Hat Factory Arts Centre, Hat House and Hat Works creative workspace, Wardown House Museum & Gallery and Stockwood Gardens & Museum. They connect these local assets with their community through collaboration, co-curation, community engagement and care.

Who we are.

The Culture Trust, Luton plays a leading role in drawing together culture, heritage and arts for the benefit of the Luton and East of England community. They present diverse and innovative year-round programmes and events across our heritage sites, museums and arts venues and develop and deliver a wide range of cultural activities. Their website illustrates the breadth of cultural activities that they deliver. They present the Museum collections and galleries at Stockwood and Wardown and have an offsite store and a Heritage Building Development in the Hat District.

The Culture Trust, Luton is the custodian of the two listed Museum Buildings and gardens, which they lease from their partner, Luton Borough Council. With support from Luton Rising, they receive an annual donation from the Airport to support and subsidise the Museum Collections and public engagement, ensuring the Museums are free to enter. They also are an Arts Council England NPO for Wardown House Museum & Gallery. They have a rich network of supporters and enablers in delivering exemplary Museums for the community of Luton and beyond. They are incredibly proud of their partnerships. For example, they are about to launch ‘Luton in 50 objects,’ co-curated by Lutonian, journalist and writer Sarfraz Manzoor. They have an award-winning Museum Maker volunteer programme and innovative ‘one mile’ community collaborations. They are growing their reputation and impact for having the best collection of hats and headwear outside London.

Luton is a very diverse town, and their co-curation panels and projects celebrate collaborations with their community.

What does The Culture Trust, Luton do?

  • They animate their venues: The Hat Factory Arts Centre, Hat House creative workspace, Hat Works creative start-up, Wardown House Museum & Gallery and Stockwood Gardens & Museum.
  • They develop and animate these sites, promote arts, heritage and culture and present multicultural and year-round events, exhibitions, workshops and performances.
  • They co-produce activities with their community, Museum Makers volunteers and a team of cultural experts.
  • They support creative talent and skills by providing opportunities, platforms and cultural career progression – particularly for young people, engaging over 15,000 each year.
  • They provide free Museum entry and care for a collection of over 2 million artefacts, 1.5 million photographs and maps and hold the most extensive and complete hat and headwear collection in the UK.
  • They culturally regenerated the town centre by converting a collection of former hat factories into creative workspace, and they actively promote heritage buildings reused for contemporary society.

About the role.

As the next Head of Museums, Collections and Heritage, you will:

  • Lead as The Culture Trust Luton’s Museums, Collections and Heritage specialist on the management of exhibits, stores, museum development, interpretation, access, documentation, collections care, publications, heritage, archives and events.
  • Be the primary custodian to Wardown House Museum & Gallery, Stockwood Discovery Centre (all Grade II listed), their offsite stores and the town’s collections and develop museums, heritage and collections with their partners, communities and funders as outlined in the Culture Trust’s Business Plan.
  • Broaden the impact of their work as a leading regional accredited Museum, developing and diversifying audiences, inspiring more opportunities for public access, co-curation and how we share and celebrate collections, collecting, heritage and historical research.
  • Lead, grow and nurture teams of specialist staff, volunteers and local/national partners across museums and heritage.
  • Be involved in their local and global work – they will welcome your ideas and innovations about how they can amplify this.
  • Audience development and ensuring they engage and involve many local voices at Wardown Museum is a priority you will lead on, working with CEO Marie Kirbyshaw and other Luton stakeholders on a very exciting capital transformation of Stockwood Discovery Centre Galleries and Heritage Gardens.
  • Work with and inspire a talented team of volunteers, staff and trustees to grow The Culture Trust, Luton’s audiences, impacts, incomes and partnerships.

Your team who reports to you will be:

  • Significant Collection Curator
  • Heritage Collections Curator
  • NPO Project Manager
  • Hat District Heritage Project Manager
  • Contracted, freelance and project-funded staff
  • Volunteers, casual staff and work experience students and placements

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

Erica Ritchie | erica@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07932 557505

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

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Welcome from the Chief Executive

Dear Candidate,

Many thanks for showing an interest in the role of Head of Museums, Collections & Heritage at the Culture Trust, Luton. I hope you find this pack informative and exciting and it helps clarify how you could bring your expertise, skills and knowledge to lead our Museums, Collections and Heritage developments in line with our Business Plan, Local Authority Partnership and Arts Council England NPO programme.

We are a progressive, Luton-based arts and cultural charity with a mission to connect communities through culture and creativity. We play a leading role in drawing together culture, heritage and arts for the benefit of the Luton and East of England community. We present diverse and innovative year-round programmes and events across our heritage sites, museums and arts venues. We develop and deliver a wide range of cultural activities, and our website’s ’What’s On’ area should give you a feel for the breadth of cultural activities we deliver. We welcome 240,000 people across the year to our stunning heritage sites: the Hat Factory Arts Centre, Hat District creative workspaces, Wardown House Museum and Gallery, and Stockwood Discovery Centre. We present our Museum collections and galleries at Stockwood and Wardown and have an offsite store. These venues, stores and galleries will be your main focus. However, you will also support our Heritage Building Development in the Hat District.

We are custodians of the two listed Museum Buildings and gardens, which we lease from our partner, Luton Borough Council. With support from Luton Rising, we receive an annual donation from the Airport to support and subsidise our Museum Collections and public engagement, ensuring the Museums are free to enter. We also are an Arts Council England NPO for Wardown House Museum & Gallery. We have a rich network of supporters and enablers in delivering exemplary Museums for the community of Luton and beyond. We are incredibly proud of our partnerships. For example, we are about to launch ‘Luton in 50 objects’ co-curated by Lutonian, journalist and writer Sarfraz Manzoor, and we have an award-winning Museum Maker volunteer programme and innovative ‘one mile’ community collaborations. We are growing our reputation and impact for having the best collection of hats and headwear outside London.

You will take a leading role in raising our profile and relevance by planning a major Triennial Hat Programme for 2025. We are a super-diverse town, and our co-curation panels and projects celebrate collaborations with our community. You will be involved in our local and global work, and we will welcome your ideas and innovations about how we can amplify this. Audience development and ensuring we engage and involve many local voices at Wardown Museum is a priority you shall lead on. You will also work with me and other Luton stakeholders on a very exciting capital transformation of Stockwood Discovery Centre Galleries and Heritage Gardens. You will have the day-to-day pleasure of working with and inspiring a talented team of volunteers, staff and trustees to grow our audience, impact, income and partnerships.

I hope you find this pack informative and exciting and that it inspires you to apply for this Head of Museum, Collections and Heritage role.

Kind regards,

Marie Kirbyshaw
Chief Executive

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    Thank you for your interest in this role. Please download the Job Description and Person Specification.

    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 “Application: The Culture Trust, Luton – Head of Museums, Collections and Heritage” into the subject field. You will receive an acknowledgement on receipt of your application within 2-3 days. If you do not receive an acknowledgement, please make contact with our admin team.

    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

    Erica Ritchie | erica@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07932 557505

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    Timetable

    Closing date: 9 a.m. Thursday 11th July 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: Monday 15th July 2024
    Interviews: Wednesday 24th July 2024


    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

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