Head of Commercial and Visitor Services

Birmingham Botanical Gardens is looking for an experienced and motivated Head of Commercial & Visitor Services and leader to join the Senior Leadership Team and lead the development and operation of commercial activities at the Gardens.

The Gardens are in a period of change and have recently secured a Stage 1 NHLF grant towards a £14m capital project. The project aims to restore the historic glasshouses, upgrade site infrastructure and displays and improve the visitor experience for all. If you would like to be part of the dynamic team leading this project, we would be pleased to hear from you.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens (BBG) are keen to see applications from people of all backgrounds and communities and are committed to representing the diverse nature of the city. The Gardens look forward to receiving applications from all suitable candidates and will conduct inclusive recruitment processes based on attitude, experience, and qualifications. BBG are also committed to ensuring that no-one invited to interview should be excluded due to financial circumstances and will reimburse anyone attending interview (related costs must be supported by receipts) if required.

About the Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Birmingham Botanical Gardens Opened in 1832, Birmingham Botanical Gardens (registered charity number 528981) is one of just two independent charitable botanical gardens in the UK.

Spread across 15 acres, just one mile from Birmingham City Centre, BBG consists of over 7,000 formally documented plants, making it the largest and most diverse botanic collection in central England.

BBG’s heritage is woven into Birmingham’s history – once the most important manufacturing town in the world – and the site welcomes over 180,000 visitors each year.

As well as the gardens, which are a green sanctuary within the city, the charity also provides a unique educational resource for learning about plants, conservation, and the environment. We welcome visits from nurseries, schools, and colleges, as well as organised groups, and run adult courses and workshops in photography, nature, wildlife, heritage, and culture.

As an independent charity, we rely on the support of visitors, supporters, donors, and grants, as well as generating income from our trading arm, hosting weddings and special events. This support ensures that we can deliver our key charitable objectives, maintaining our Victorian glasshouses and our 15-acres of wonderful gardens, and developing educational projects for the Birmingham community.

A diverse botanical world that enhances all our lives: our mission is to support plant biodiversity and an understanding of its importance to the natural environment through conservation, education, engagement, and enjoyment.

Your role as a Head of Commercial and Visitor Services 

Head of Commercial and Visitor Services (HCVS) will be responsible for the day-to-day management and development of all visitor and commercial services activities. The HCVS will manage the relationship with the third-party caterer and lead the teams in improving and delivering an excellent visitor experience.

The HCVS is directly responsible to the Chief Executive (CE) and will line manage the Maintenance Manager, Welcome Supervisor, Events Supervisor, Retail Supervisor and lead a commercial and visitor services team (circa 10 FTE)


  • The HCVS will work closely with the CE to raise the profile of the Botanical Gardens locally, nationally and internationally by delivering exceptional visitor experiences at all points of the visitor journey
  • The HCVS will work closely with Trustees and the CE to deliver BBG’s strategic aims in both customer experience and commercial outputs to raise income for the charity
  • The HCVS will line manage the department and a growing number of volunteers to deliver exceptional customer services at all stages of the visitor journey
  • The HCVS will performance-manage all reports on an ongoing basis to develop a high performing, collaborative team culture. This includes training, and recruitment, induction and appraisals as necessary
  • The HCVS will be responsible for volunteers working in commercial and visitor service areas and will be expected to spend time with both staff and volunteers providing supervision, support, instruction and training
  • The HCVS will ensure the highest standards of customer care and when necessary, carry out practical hands-on work alongside other members of staff
  • As a member of the senior leadership team and Head of Commercial and Visitor Services, the HCVS will be expected to be an active participant in scheduled and ad hoc departmental meetings


    • The HCVS will lead and shape the management of the Gardens in terms of visitor experience and commercial offer, to ensure visitors enjoy a high-quality customer-service driven experience of national and international repute consistent with the organisation’s brand values
    • The HCVS will lead the development and operation of commercial activities to maximise the financial contribution to the organisation to allow it to deliver its charitable purposes
    • The HCVS will work with the CE to co-create relevant strategies, including the commercial marketing plan
    • The HCVS will lead the team to ensure that commercial and visitor service targets, as set out in the agreed business plan are delivered
    • The HCVS will work with the CE, Development Manager, Head of Learning & Engagement and Marketing & Communications Manager (and relevant consultants) to deliver accessible and engaging marketing and interpretation of the site
    • The HCVS will oversee the implementation of a new and effective retail offer (includ- ing developing an online offer) licensing, outdoors corporate hire, events, and new business development operations
    • The HCVS will lead retail product development, sourcing and buying for the shop(s)
    • The HCVS will work with the CE to lead and manage all catering relationships
    • The HCVS will report to the CE and Board of Trustees as required, including the de- sign and implementation of relevant analytics
    • Any other duties and responsibilities that reasonably pertain to this role

Contract Type: (2-year fixed term contract)
Salary: £45,000 per annum

Please click here to download the PDF for further details and person specification. 

To apply: Please send your CV and covering letter to jobs@birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk.
Closing date: 23 March 2023
Interviews will take place week commencing 3 April 2023