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New Vacancy: Commercial Director

*Closing date for applications: 12 noon on Monday 13th November 2023*

Job Description

Post Title:  Commercial Director

Responsible to:  Chief Executive

Responsible for: Conference & Events, Marketing, Front of House, Retail, Cafe


Dundee Heritage Trust runs two highly respected 5-star rated visitor attractions – The Royal Research Ship Discovery at Discovery Point and Dundee’s social history museum at the stunning Verdant Works.  Both sites are fully accredited museums and have won numerous awards, both national and international, as well as regularly rated the city’s top two venues on Trip Advisor. Both the polar and jute collections are Recognised Collections of National Significance. The venues welcome over 80k visitors each year.


Based at Discovery Point and at Verdant Works as required.

Organisational relationships

You will work collaboratively within our Executive Management Team and report to the Chief Executive.

About the role

The Director of Commercial is a new post, which will be responsible for leading our hospitality, front-of-house and marketing teams.

You will take responsibility for delivering efficient, quality-driven, and cost-effective hospitality, visitor services and commercial activities as a key part of the Trust’s business. You will strive to significantly grow our conference, events, and wedding businesses across all our visitor locations. Working within our Executive Management Team, you will help drive continual improvement of our visitor experience, enhance performance, and purpose innovations to maintain our five-star status.  

You will have responsibility for the sales and delivery of all our onsite and on-ship visitor events, including daytime conferences, evening dinners and meetings, and similar activities within a managed programme, including weddings, by deploying and supervising the events management, kitchen team and waiting staff. Your team will thus be responsible for everything associated with running our hospitality experience, as well as ensuring that the required equipment and facilities are maintained to a high standard.

You will  be responsible for  the teams that manage admissions to our museums;

You will also be responsible for managing both the admissions team at Discovery Point and Verdant Works –  this provides our guests with a consistently world-class service, and our marketing team –  ensuring we maximize general admissions income, secondary spend, online sales, group bookings and cruise line visitor numbers.

You will be responsible for maximising our car park and letting income and will be able to turn your commercial flair to help the wider team manage tender processes and lead negotiations on ad hoc commercial deals to deliver the best value for our charities’ limited resources.

About you

You will be passionate about customer experience and obsessed about exceeding expectations, and have a track record of leading successful teams in a customer-centric environment. An established senior leader, ideally with at least ten years experience, you will perhaps be a General Manager, Director or MD/CEO of a smaller organisation.  With an eye for detail and a commercial acumen to contribute at the senior management level, you will possess a robust business understanding,

You will be a collaborative player who will champion our values of kindness, trust, collaborative working, and respect and will work with colleagues across the business in delivering our One-Team culture.

Visitor Services

  • Manage and direct ticket sales/admissions at each site.
  • Daily trading and opening and closing procedures at each site.
  • Develop admissions reporting systems.
  • Maximise revenue, including Gift Aid
  • Maximise customer satisfaction


  • Provide a first-class service to museum visitors, cafe and retail customers (including online), conference, events and wedding clients.
  • Seek to increase income generation within the catering and retail operations through maximising customer spend.
  • Manage buying, stock control and profitability of retail sales.
  • Management and development of sales from e-shop within the website.
  • Responsible for the effective and efficient operation of hospitality offers at all venues, including conference and business clients
  • Maintain the profitable operation of all catering and bars, including setting prices to achieve maximum profitability whilst remaining competitive.
  • Liaise with team members and outsourced suppliers to ensure that all catering operations are operating efficiently and that the food & services provided are of the highest quality and highest standards of customer care.
  • Ensure that customer queries or complaints are dealt with appropriately in accordance with complaints policy.
  • Acting as Designated Premises Manager for bars and cafes in venues and compliance with all requirements of our licenses


Continuous improvement of all systems supporting your team’s profitability, including:-

  • General admissions, done in conjunction with the Finance Team
  • Stock control systems, done in conjunction with the Finance Team.
  • Profitability reporting procedures within the Retail and Café teams.
  • On-line booking systems for general admission, group bookings, and events

Visitor Development

  • Assist towards the development of an annual programme of public events for each site.
  • Plan and manage public events.
  • Develop promotional initiatives to grow visitor numbers.
  • Respond proactively to market trends within your sphere of responsibility.
  • Assist in the development and delivery of the company marketing plan.


Leadership & Staff Management

  • Provide effective leadership, management and motivation of those directly reporting to you, including recruitment, induction, supervision, appraisal and ongoing training and development.
  • Help encourage positive performance across the business as a whole
  • Provide quarterly written performance reports for the Board.
  • Attend Board Meetings, sub-committee Meetings, executive management meetings and all internal and external meetings as required.
  • Assist the Chief Executive in the preparation of relevant reports, submissions and service planning performance reviews.
  • Assisting in developing and implementing effective procedures and systems appropriate to the needs of the organisation.

Financial Management

  • Providing effective budgetary control to ensure that income and expenditure targets are met, and turnover and profit maximised.
  • Overseeing the management of budgets for the Commercial and Marketing departments in accordance with agreed budgets set by the Chief Executive and Head of Finance and admin.
  • Work closely with the Chief Executive and the Head of Finance and admin to devise strategies and set financial targets to maximise income potential and monitor expenditure.
  • Maintain Organisational Assets Register.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of capital plans and projects.
  • Assist the Chief Executive and Head of Finance and Administration in financial forecasting and review.


  • Take an active part in communicating and cooperating with other staff and departments.
  • Follow all corporate guidelines, procedures and policies.
  • Work in accordance with the company’s Equality and Diversity Policy.
  • Be aware of and comply with rules and legislation pertaining to Health and safety at work.

Person Specification


  • Strong Leadership skills
  • Experience in leading a dynamic team
  • Practical hands-on approach
  • Organised and efficient administration Skills
  • Able to deliver first-class visitor services
  • Property/venue management experience (in a similar environment)
  • Budgetary experience
  • Proven business acumen
  • Commercial or social enterprise experience in a customer-focused role


  • License holder
  • IOSH/NEBOSH Qualified
  • Knowledge and experience of museums and cultural sector & charity sector

Terms & Conditions:

Permanent post

Rate of Pay: in the region of £45k per annum

Hours of work: 37.5 hours per week, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5.30 pm, but responsible for overseeing regular shift and weekend work.


Holiday entitlement is 31 days, rising to 4 weeks and 2 days after 3 years’ service and rising to 5 weeks after 5 years’ service.  This includes public holidays, 4 of which are fixed – Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, 2nd January.


The Government has introduced a new law which requires employers to enrol their workers into a workplace pension scheme automatically if they meet the following conditions:

  • Are not already in one;
  • Earn over £10,000 a year/£833 per month/£192 per week
  • Are aged 22 or over; and
  • Are under State Pension age

If you meet these requirements during your contract, you will be auto-enrolled into our qualifying scheme – The National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) Pension Scheme. 

Staff benefits

  • Discount on meals from Verdant Works Café
  • Discount on purchases from the Gift Shops at Discovery and Verdant Works

Be part of an award-winning team!

Please send your CV to admin@dundeeheritage.co.uk by 12 noon on 13th November 2023 if you wish to apply.

Other News

For all the latest News from RRS Discovery & Verdant Works, or to return to the latest news from DHT please use the following links.