Author: Glynis Powell

Vacancy: Business Development Manager

Please note the closing date for this post has now passed

We are seeking a Business Development Manager

Start date: as soon as possible. 
Place of work: Castle Bromwich Historic Gardens, Castle Bromwich, Birmingham,B36 9BT
Reporting to: The General Manager
Hours per week: 37 hours per week with weekend and evening work as appropriate.

Salarycirca £30,000 p.a. 
Contract Length: 18 month contract with a three month probationary period.

Castle Bromwich Historic Gardens is a Grade II* rescued formal garden – a piece of baroque 18th century countryside on the edge of a 21st century city.  It is run by a Charitable Trust, a very small team of employed staff and over 100 volunteers. It opens to the public over 300 days per year, runs formal and informal outdoor learning programmes, a series of cultural and leisure events and supports a small café and shop.

Mindful of decreasing public revenues it is rapidly developing and trialling newer business models to support its continued survival and positive growth.

This is an exciting new role made possible by National Lottery Heritage Funding and requires a dynamic, proactive and reliable individual with a strategic outlook and practical track record of commercial development within smaller heritage and historic attractions.

The Business Development Manager will report to the General Manager and work with a very small staff team and willing volunteers.  Your role will be to develop existing and new commercial activities into sustainable, profitable income streams,which also enhance the Gardens’ brand.

You will work closely with the General Manager to ensure seamless integration of all commercial activities into the daily running of the Gardens. The activity and output of this role must be consistent with the overall strategy for the Gardens.

The role of the post is to:

  • Analyse the performance of current income generating activities and research / collect data that enables effective planning for improvement
  • Review the markets in which the Gardens operates and understand the demand for, and potential of current products/services
  • Research the markets for potential new products/services
  • Develop a plan for business development for approval by the Trustees
  • Test new income generating ideas
  • Implement plans to improve the performance of existing activities and introduce new ones
  • Train staff and volunteers to run the new and improved business activities
  • Oversee the implementation of a new EPOS system, including the training of staff and volunteers, to improve retail performance and management information

Initially, we expect the Business Development Manager to focus on:

  • Actively developing and leading the Gardens’programming including, activities to build visitor numbers and special, ticketed events
  • Introduction of the EPOS system
  • Developing the wedding and venue hire business

All business development initiatives will need to either be operated by existing staff and/or volunteers, or be of sufficient scale to warrant an increase in staffing. It is hoped that more volunteers can be recruited to support business development activities as they are put in place.

Experience and skills required:

  • Experience of researching, developing and launching new business activities, particularly in the heritage sector
  • Experience of improving the performance of existing business activities.
  • Experience of financial planning and control
  • Experience of negotiation
  • Ability to work collaboratively with others and experience of working in a small team
  • Understanding of the constraints and opportunities of commercial development within a not-for-profit environment
  • Experience of training/mentoring others

To apply

Please email your cv together with a covering letter outlining what you have to offer the role by 19th July 2019 send to admin@cbhgt.org.uk

For an informal chat about this role with the General Manager please phone the office or email her on Gen.manager@cbhgt.org.uk

Interviews will be held at the Gardens on Monday 29th July in the Gardens

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Unplug and Play

Half Term Family Friendly Activities in the Gardens

Make the most of the warmer weather to get out and about in the open and discover nature.

Self Guided Trails all week 

There’s a caterpillar flower trail for the littl’uns and for everyone, try our ‘invent a plant name‘ to stretch everyone’s creative powers.

3 days of craft activities.

Leaf and plant printing.
Make your own pictures, bunting or gift tags with collected leaves and flowers.
We’ll use 2 techniques. One with paint and one with a hammer (Hapa zome).
suitable for all ages (with adult supervision
12- 3pm, £2 per person (including garden entry).

FREE for Family Friendly Activities Annual Pass holders

Tuesday 28th May
Wednesday 29th May
Friday 31st May

Don’t forget the Gardens open at 11am – Make a day of it

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Blossom picnics – Birmingham’s own Hanami

Spend the day under the blossom trees in the heritage orchards of the Historic Gardens.
With apple and pear blossoms instead of the traditional Japanese plum, this version of Hanami still echoes the tradition of enjoying the beauty of the flowers this Spring.
A picnic in the Gardens is always enjoyable, however, the orchards in full bloom also provide the perfect setting for your relaxing day out.

Traditional Japanese food by Pika Pika will be available on the day, with a selection of delicious sushi and curry available.

Bring your own food and drink too. Cafe open for light refreshments
Music and other activities likely! Take part in learning how to create beautiful origami creations.
Normal entrance fees

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Land Art Festival days for schools and the public

Richard Shilling – acclaimed environmental Land Artist – will make a welcome return to our green and pleasant land in October.

He and his partner Julia Brooklyn, who specialises in working with children, have agreed to run some special days for schools on Thursday 25th and Friday 26th October.

Using natural materials and responding to the environment the class workshops will release individual and group creativity this Autumn.

Half days or whole school length days are available to book. We welcome schools of any kind and

groups of home educated children to book places.

Suitable for all ages and abilities
£5 per child (group prices by negotiation), ring 0121 749 4100 or email to book

 

Julia and Richard have agreed to stay over until Saturday and to continue the Festival feel of their artist residency on Saturday 27th October.  The Land Art Fesitval day will be a drop in anytime, join in and make art together type event. Let our garden inspire you to explore shapes and places together

Normal Garden Entry fees apply (TBC)

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Sorry – cancelled- back next year-Family Music Workshop

The amazing young performers of the K’antu early music ensemble provice a fun and lively  ‘have a go’  music making workshop this summer afternoon (1pm -2.30pm)…

Watch out: vegetable flutes may be involved :-)))

Later at  3.30pm K’antu will enchant us with a concert of early music  in our 17th century Gardens

Normal entry prices apply

Discounted entry for members

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Vandals, mud and bugs

[update: We are overwhelmed by the positive support and reaction of the public to this act of vandalism in the Gardens. we are grateful to everyone for their good wishes and take heart in knwoing that what we are trying to do pleases so many people.  

We are busy prparng for our big 40s event at present, as soon as that is over we will be planning to invite our wellwishesr to be part of the reconstruction of the spaces – it might take a little planning- but we are really looking forward to involving even mor epeople in the pleasure of our spaces…. Please keep a look out for news of how you can help out… .With heartfelt thanks from the volunteers , staff and Trustees]

(PS Many people have asked how they might contribute financially – if this is something yu want and ware able to do, you can make a contriubtion of any size to our Just Giving page HERE.  All contributions for the next month will go directly on the re-build project… THANKS)

…over the past few months thoughtless and destructive intruders have done some stupid things in the Gardens overnight – all of which has cost our charity and hard working volunteers both money and tears. Over the last 2 nights yet more destructive idiocy has happened. This time it directly affects our visitors too. Last night was even worse.
Our little mud kitchen – much beloved by toddlers and parents was set alight. The ‘bug hotel’ built by volunteers and visitors last year to attract creepy crawlies was also burned. The fences protecting the small bridges by our spinney pond have now been trashed 4 times. Its not just stuff we have built , but nearby trees have been scorched too.
Our charity and volunteers look after these unique Gardens on behalf of us all. What brains and hearts get pleasure out of spoiling things for everyone else? They are the few…we are the many…oh, and our hedgehog cameras are now trained on humans…

 

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Water water everywhere

The numbers are in. Yes, March was indeed the wettest month. In fact the wettest for 8 years.

Our Education Officer Ann Brookman has been keeping records and sharing the readings with our school visitors for a while now. Her figures certainly bear out our own gut (wellboot) feelings that its been a drearily damp month.

This March we had a whopping 92mm. The driest year was way back in 2012 with a mere 14.5 millimetres

No doubt some of those extra millimetres come from this year’s snow melt but, even so, the hike

from the previous high (60mm in 2013) is pretty spectacular.

Our grass has certainly suffered this month too. The gardeners have been spending this week

tamping down and reseeding some of the paths that have been churned up by traffic in the snow

and rain.

The lovely new stretch tent (from Tentickle) on the lawn, while providing us and the public some good shelter, has been rather too efficiently gathering the water into little swimming pools on the roof. Good job it’s stretchy.

Ah well… April showers to come…..

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#wegrowtogether: a guide to companion planting

There’s a lot of wisdom out there amongst professional and amateur gardeners. Much folklore and science knowledge handed down from generation to generation. 

In the post second world war  ‘nuke everything with a chemical’ era, a lot of native knowledge about what grew well with what, was lost and indeed strongly poo-poohed as ‘magic’ and superstition.

Thankfully since then, largely due to the Organic Gardening lobby, a more rational approach and some good scientific studies have been instrumental in making the practice of ‘companion planting’ an accepted practice amongst mainstream gardeners.

In our veg. and herb garden (the Batty Langley), we tend to mix some pre-18th century practices with some modern wisdom. We don’t use chemicals and plant calendula, nasturtiums, borage, comfrey etc plants amongst the vegetables to encourage beneficial insects.

On the Schools plot we have also experimented with ‘Three Sisters’ planting. This is a techniques used primarily by native north american peoples and combines three main agricultural crops winter squash, maize (corn), and climbing beans.

“The three crops benefit from each other. The maize provides a structure for the beans to        climb, eliminating the need for poles. The beans provide the nitrogen to the soil that the other  plants use, and the squash spreads along the ground, blocking the sunlight, helping prevent the establishment of weeds. The squash leaves also act as a “living mulch”, creating a microclimate to retain moisture in the soil, and the prickly hairs of the vine deter pests. Corn, beans, and squash contain complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids and all eight essential amino acids, allowing most Native American tribes to thrive on a plant-based diet.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Sisters_(agriculture)

There is quite a lot of information out there on the web but we thought we would share a guide made by one of our helpful commercial partners, FirstTunnels.

Click here to be taken to their very comprehensive site

https://www.firsttunnels.co.uk/page/Companion-Planting-Guide

 

 

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Love Drawing… make a date for our monthly sessions

We are delighted to welcome back the ‘flower fairies’ from Birmingham Society of Botanical Artists.

Birmingham Society of Botanical Artists logoLast year the talented artists from the Society sat in the Garden, the greenhouse, the visitor centre whichever was the most comfortable, and drew together, once a month.

They are back again this year starting on Valentine’s Day, Wednesday 14th at 1.30pm

They invite anyone to join them, in companionship, for a couple of hours each month

Each season has a fresh thing to discover; an early apricot, a humble seedhead or a spectacular flower. some decided to follow a tree the whole year around, others had a go at whatever they found.

Love drawing, but too shy to show anyone?
Well come along on these monthly Wednesday afternoons. Everyone is welcome to take their ‘line for a walk’, with pencil and paper in a relaxed and non-judgemental atmosphere. Draw in companionship.
And… if you do want advice and comment, then the artists are on hand to helpyou out.
LOVE drawing this Valentine’s Day …make it a monthly date.

The second Wednesday in the Month – 1.30 -3.30pm

Bring your own materials or take advantage of some basic pen and paper we’ll provide.

Normal entry fees apply but (basic)materials and support are free

 

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