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Beatrix Potter Property Curator - Ambleside

The National Trust
Ambleside, Cumbria
35,724 pa
Closing date
6 Dec 2023

Job Details

Beatrix Potter Property Curator - Ambleside


Are you a creative and confident curator? Then we are looking for you to inspire and enable our teams who care for this internationally significant collection. You'll help us to improve visitor engagement to the places and collections linked to the Beatrix Potter legacy. Full curatorial training to support this role is available, however ideally you'll have a passion and knowledge of Beatrix Potter, children's illustration, or an associated subject.

Please note that some of the collection is being moved to Knole in Kent on a temporary basis for digitisation, and specialist collections care. There will be a requirement of travel between the locations, and we are open to recruitment of a candidate based in the Knole / Southeast area who would be willing to travel regularly to the Lake District without relocating.

Salary: £35,724pa

Hours: Full time 37.5 hours per week, we are very flexible to how you work these hours to enable you to achieve a work life balance the works for you. 

Contract: Permanent 

Interviews: planned for December 4th at our Grasmere hub

For more information on this, or for an informal chat about the role more generally, please contact our General Manager:

What it's like to work here

You'll be a part of the Property Leadership Team, led by the General Manager for the South Lakes portfolio. Your role will mean engaging with a wide range of people including regional curators, collections specialists, property operations teams and interested external parties such as the Beatrix Potter Society.

While your focus will be on the curation and care of the collection and leading the Collections Team, you'll be expected to play a part in the wider business planning and supporting operational delivery through visible leadership and influencing beyond your immediate sphere of expertise.

This portfolio is an area of ownership stretching between Coniston Water and the western lakeshore of Windermere. It includes 4000 hectares of land which is rich in nature and culture, along with key visitor touch points such as Hill Top, the Wray Estate and Tarn Hows. These are some of the most iconic landscapes in the world, visited by over 20 million people each year.

What you'll be doing

Your key collections focus will be:

  • Beatrix Potter Collection c. 4000 objects – mainly works on paper & archive
  • Hill Top Collection c. 2000 objects that are on display at Beatrix Potter's farmhouse retreat: the inspiration for her little books.

You'll lead the Collections Team who care for the wider collection. This includes the Solicitors Collection of William Heelis and items that sit within upland farmhouses given to the National Trust by Beatrix Potter. You'll work collaboratively with our regional curators and your local team to ensure that these are cared for appropriately.

You'll participate at a national level as part of a working group comprising 28 other Trust properties with significant collections. This will include visiting other properties, engaging with other Property Curators and on occasion hosting this group and work to deliver key outcomes as set by the national team.

For more detail, please refer to the additional information and role profile attached to this advert.

Who we're looking for

Ideally you'll have:
  • A postgraduate degree (or comparable). Knowledge about Beatrix Potter is desirable, or an associated subject (eg. Lake District, children’s illustration). We would love to hear from you if you have specialist knowledge in watercolour artwork
  • Leadership skills, able to inspire and deliver change to the status quo of interpretation, display and management of collections
  • Previous line management experience. We have an internal training programme and mentoring to support
  • Experience of developing engaging and accessible programming, interpretation, and visitor engagement across inclusive and diverse histories
  • Experience of commissioning, undertaking and disseminating research
  • Knowledge of current standard methodology in the care and management of buildings, landscapes, and collections care – including Museum Accreditation, collections management and conservation standards
  • Networks with demonstrable knowledge and understanding of the latest innovations in the cultural and heritage sector
  • Consulting skills; listening, building trust, offering advice. Able to influence, challenge constructively and negotiate.

The package

The National Trust has the motto ‘For everyone, for ever’ at its heart. We’re working hard to create an inclusive culture, where everyone feels they belong. It’s important that our people reflect and represent the diversity of the communities and audiences we serve. We welcome and value difference, so when we say we’re for everyone, we want everyone to be welcome in our teams too.

  • Substantial pension scheme of up to 10% basic salary
  • Free entry to National Trust places for you, a guest and your children (under 18)
  • Tax free childcare scheme
  • Rental deposit loan scheme
  • Season ticket loan
  • Perks at work discounts i.e. gym memberships, shopping discount codes, cinema discounts
  • Holiday allowance up to 32 days relating to length of service, plus holiday purchase scheme, subject to meeting minimum criteria.
  • Flexible working whenever possible
  • Employee assistance programme
  • Free parking at most locations
  • Independent financial advice

Click here to find out more about the benefits we offer to support you.


The National Trust is committed to promoting and preserving those places of natural beauty and historic interest for which it has the privilege to be responsible for the benefit of the nation, for everyone for ever.

The Trust is proud of what has been achieved over the last 126 years and is determined to maintain those high standards of conservation, stewardship and curatorial care for which it has been recognised throughout the world.

Its achievements have enabled the general public and the Trust’s members and visitors to enjoy and appreciate the countryside, coastline, gardens, historic buildings and collections, all of which encapsulate so much of the history of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. There is a duty to tell that history in a complete, balanced and accurate way, and without judgement.

The National Trust continues as a guardian of the past, and for the future, to uphold its duty to maintain and enhance what has been entrusted to its care.

Company info
The National Trust

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