New operations director for Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Birmingham Botanical Gardens has appointed an operations director as it plans exciting developments to conserve and preserve the heritage site for future generations.
Arts and events specialist Rebecca Steen arrives from Birmingham Town Hall Symphony Hall, where she was box office manager for seven years.
The newly created role will see Rebecca bringing the operational departments together to help them achieve the strategic aims and objectives of the grade II* listed Gardens in Edgbaston, which is an independent charity that relies solely on revenue from visitors, members and charitable donations.
Her significant experience within the arts and events sector has seen her being invited to speak at a number of global events, including being keynote speaker at Spektrix Conference, TPC and UK Theatre, and being awarded a grant to speak at INTIX Conference 2020 in New York.
Welcoming Rebecca to the Gardens, which are located in Westbourne Road, chief executive James Wheeler said: “The Gardens first opened to the public in 1832 and since then it has been dedicated to conservation and preservation. Bec’s pivotal role will ensure we are working as strategically as possible and to help us realise our exciting plans for the future.”
Rebecca said: “I am excited at the vast opportunities there are here at the Gardens and hope my skills will bring a new perspective to the Gardens, which is one of the country’s most important botanical gardens.
“It’s not just an inspiring and beautiful place to work; it is an important heritage site that is loved by its staff, volunteers, trustees and visitors and which deserves its place as a leading destination in the city.
“As someone with a passion for the customer experience, I’m looking forward to getting started and working with everyone to put Birmingham Botanical Gardens on the map.”
As a charity, the Gardens, which is home to four Victorian glasshouses, receives no regular public funding. Instead, it relies on the generosity of public donations, grants and income it can generate through conferences, weddings and other events.
Set within a Conservation Area, it is a 15-acre oasis just one mile from the city centre and has more than 7,000 formally documented plants, with the largest and most diverse botanic collection in central England.
It also provides a unique educational resource and welcomes visits from nurseries up to colleges, as well as uniformed groups and adult learners.