Head of Estates and Facilities Management (Band 3a)

1 day left

£ 49,035 - £56,866 (Pay Award Pending)
22 Apr 2021
17 May 2021
Job Function
Facilities Manager
Job position
Head of
Contract Type
Full Time

Chief Operating Office



The National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) is home to one the world’s finest collections of art, which ranges from the Middle Ages to the present day and includes masterpieces by Rembrandt, Leonardo, Warhol, Monet, Van Gogh, Botticelli, Picasso and Magritte. Our spectacular buildings house the world’s greatest collection of Scottish art, and a world-renowned collection of Scottish and international photography, which runs to 40,000 images.

It is our ambition to reach the broadest possible public, and in 2019 our exhibitions, events and displays drew more than 2.7 million visitors to our three principal sites in Edinburgh: the Scottish National Gallery, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

This is an exciting period of renewal for NGS, as we move forward with a recently developed strategic vision that puts our audience at the heart of what we do. We’re making it our mission to broaden our impact, matching our rich collections, expertise and creativity to the needs and wants of our visitors. We’re finding new ways to connect with more people, and creating an innovative, inclusive organisation that can meet the challenges of our ever-evolving world.

The National Galleries of Scotland aims to preserve, display and augment the collections for the enjoyment and education of the widest possible public and to maintain NGS as a centre of excellence.

‘Art for Scotland: Inspiration for the world’ is Our Vision.  We want to be Scotland’s powerhouse for art.  Inclusive, original and ambitious – we will make the national collection accessible to all and inspire curiosity across the world.  In doing so, one of the many ways we contribute to our community is through our alignment to Scotland’s National Performance Framework.

We will embed Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) into our culture, creating a safe and welcoming environment that is inclusive and equitable for all. Our culture will celebrate and represent the diverse society in which we live and work in, ensuring everyone feels a sense of belonging and can be themselves.

NGS are working towards a net carbon zero target by 2045 and we are carrying out a thorough review of how we manage our estates and our operational practices to understand what will be required to achieve net zero. Our response to the climate emergency and EDI are integral to our decision-making criteria.

Role Purpose:

We are seeking to appoint an exceptional Head of Estates working within our Chief Operating Office Directorate and across NGS.

The Chief Operating Office includes our entire Operations team, consisting of Health & Safety, Security and Visitor Services (SVS), Procurement and Legal, working together with our Finance, Information Technology, Human Resources and Estates Teams. 

We work together and collaborate across NGS and with external partners to ensure our collection is cared for, safe and secure, to deliver operational services that improve our visitor experience and to ensure NGS is a great place for us all to work.

This is an exciting time for the Chief Operating Office within NGS as we continue to develop and implement our 5-year improvement plans, plan to take on the newly established gallery spaces at the Scottish National Gallery and input to the development of the major new collection facility at Granton – The Art Works.(TAW).


The main responsibilities of this role will be

  • to partner with the Chief Operating Officer and the Director of Operations to ensure the safety and security of our heritage buildings used to display and store our collection: these include the iconic National Gallery of Scotland, National Portrait Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art No 1 and No 2 together with a range of external storage buildings
  • to manage the Estates Team to be able to look after the annual maintenance and repair of our estate, together with the daily cleaning, environmental controls and building services management – to ensure our d secure,for our colleagues, visitors, collection and our suppliers
  • to ensure maintenance works and estates capital projects are carried out within full compliance of robust processes to ensure the fire integrity, safety of our staff and environmental conditions for our collection are maintained throughout
  • to develop our response to the climate emergency from the estates point of view, working with our Sustainability Officer to set out the next phase of our carbon management plan, the buildings adaption plan and how far that helps achieve our goal to achieve nett zero by 2045
  • to provide strategic input for all aspects of estates into the 5-year Capital Investment plan
  • to scope, plan out and deliver on a series of estates infrastructure projects with a range of external consultants and contractors, against our Capital Investment plan to ensure our buildings are maintained and updated to help respond to the challenges of the environmental crisis
  • to support the Project Manager for our new gallery project at the National Gallery and the Project Director for The Art Works, our new collection facility at Granton
  • to establish and implement a 5-year improvement plan, with positive improvement in the target outcomes of each of the areas the Head of Estates has responsibility for
  • to establish and manage a risk log for the Estates Department, including all aspects of contractor management, security and fire safety, to ensure the risks are pro-actively managed and mitigated against.
  • to work with our procurement officer to ensure all procurement is carried out in full adherence with Scottish Government policies and procedures.
  • to carry out Property Management duties including managing leases, rents, non-domestic rates, services charges, valuations and working with landlords, building surveyors, rates advisors and solicitors.
  • working with the NGS Trading Company on agreements with catering companies.
  • to ensure a robust system of contractor management is in place and implemented.
  • to manage the grounds at the Gallery of Modern Art, including the Jencks Landform, the café gardens and the trees which have TPO’s.
  • to work with the collection care directorate, conservation department and curatorial teams in providingthe maintenance of external sculptures including the ‘Six Times’ Gormley figures in the Water of Leith


The role reports directly to the Chief Operating Officer and plays a key part in decision making and prioritisation with the Extended Leadership Team and the COO Leadership Team on all aspects of estates management.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Strategic Input

  • To provide strategic recommendations to the NGS Leadership Team & Board on the investment plan required to care for our world class heritage buildings, whilst also responding to the climate emergency.
  • To refresh the Estates Review, which sets out and prioritises the estates improvement projects on an annual basis.
  • To input into the estates and facilities management aspects of the design for our major new collection facility: The Art Works.

Estates Operations Management

  • Leading the Estates team (line management of 6 staff and dedicated specialist contractors with an annual budget of £3m revenue and £700k capital projects).
    • to ensure our buildings can open safely for colleagues and to the public daily
    • to ensure full compliance with Health and Safety policies
    • to embed best practice operational processes to avoid any estates incidents and any incidents that could cause damage to the buildings or the art collection : including robust adherence prior to commencing any work and during estates works by utilising for example, permit to work ; lock and tag ; method statements and risk, fire and dust assessments
    • to ensure the estates team are fully compliant with government legislation
    • to lead the estates team to organise the maintenance and improvement of the building fabric, including space management and purchase of furniture and fittings, and provide advice on all matters relating to the Buildings and the Estate
    • to lead the estates team on Facilities Management i.e. implementation and supervision of systems, (including BMS, CAFM and Helpdesk), to control and supervise works undertaken on the Buildings in accordance with the Corporate Strategy and government guidance
    • to provide advice and reporting on all aspects of the Estate to the Chief Operating Officer
    • to ensure environmental controls are monitored and maintained to protect the art collection
    • to manage the response to repairs/improvement demands in respect of the fabric, structure and the grounds of the buildings and the provision of essential services including utilities, technical security
    • to manage the cleaning contractors to ensure the buildings are kept clean and free from dust.
  • Supporting the Director of Operations during any significant incidents and take the lead to deal with any estate’s incidents.
  • To ensure business continuity and contingency management plans are kept up to date.
  • To take the lead and responsibility for all building related projects on our sites including when those are being initiated by 3rd party suppliers e.g. when we make improvements to our restaurants, shops and when we are making temporary building work alterations for exhibitions.

Estates Programme and Project Management

  • Working within the COO and Operations Leadership Team, the Estates Team, to partner across NGS to establish, scope out, prioritise and deliver a series of estates improvement projects over a 3-5-year period as an integrated programme including the following:
    • A series of projects to help us significantly improve the environmental efficiency of our buildings and our mechanical installations with an emphasis on fabric first methodologies and so reduce energy consumption and our impact on the environment.
    • A review of the estates systems to establish an upgrade plan with IT and Estates to agree the sequence and approach to investing in our estates systems – this includes Security / Fire Safety / CCTV / door access, Building Management & Facilities Management systems.
    • Establishing a plan for our Building Information system implementation across our Heritage buildings that is aligned with the plans for The Art Works set at BIM level 2.
    • Working with The Art Works Project Director to co-ordinate the estates input during design, construction and readiness for occupation, including assessing costs in use and making recommendations on estates resources and specialist contracts to manage the new c10,000m2 facility intended to be built to Passivehaus building standard.
    • Establishing a set of options of how we can use the space made available by the movement of teams and functions to The Art Works. So that the options can be considered in a cost benefit analysis approach to establish and then implement an agreed set of estates re-utilisation and de-commissioning projects.
    • Working with the estates team and the SNG Project Manager to plan and establish readiness for occupation.
  • For each Estates project a thorough process of risk assessment (including risk to the art collection) must be carried out to ensure the health and safety of our teams on site and to ensure all fire safety measures are adequately considered and dealt with.
  • For each Estates project a carefully integrated plan will need to be established to take into account impact and dependencies on other areas so that estates projects are delivered with the support of the appropriate teams in NGS and without negatively impacting the visitor experience, care of the collection and the safety of our colleagues.
  • To be able to establish the scope and sequence of the Estates projects, you will be expected to procure and work with specialist external consultants to help define longer term solutions and investment plans for the NGS estate.

Budget Management & Continuous Improvement

  • Overall annual budget management c £3 m including staff costs and £700k in capital projects (before taking on TAW).
  • Within the COO, each team is developing their own 5-year improvement programme of work. This role will be expected to develop, co-ordinate and implement the overall improvement programme for Estates, to be able to track progress and highlight inter-dependencies and sequencing considerations.
  • Provide recommendations on how continuous improvement can be established in the Estates team to help improve our operating efficiencies, the visitor experience and colleague engagement.

Talent Development & Capability Building

  • To ensure the development of all colleagues within the Estates Team.
  • Coaching and development of direct reports.
  • Working with the Project Office Manager to ensure the NGS Project Framework is rolled and utilised effectively as appropriate in the Estates Team projects.
  • Working with the Project Office Manager, to develop project management capabilities in the estates team and where appropriate, across other areas of the COO.

Key Internal Relationships

  • This role interacts with all the senior leaders from each area of NGS including: the NGS Leadership Team; Extended Leadership Team, COO Leadership Team: Curatorial senior team; Collection Care senior team: Public Engagement senior team. Audit & Risk Committee.
  • The buildings are a primary means of caring for our collection, therefore this role has a close working relationship with the Conservation and Collections Management directorate
  • Working with the Customer Services Group to seek to continually improve the visitor experience across each of our gallery buildings – responding diligently and timeously to feedback on ideas for estates improvement from this Group.

Key External Relationships

  • This role must interact with a wide range of external stakeholders including, Planners & Heritage bodies, Peers at other cultural organisations, City of Edinburgh Council Officers, Scottish Futures Trust.
  • Responsible for appointing and managing a series of specialist contractors and consultants to help facilities manage our estate and develop our improvement plans.

Skills & Experience

It is an essential requirement that the successful candidate has demonstrable experience in the knowledge, skills and experience outlined below:

  • Experience of leading the estates team for similar organisations
  • Experience of leading, managing and developing large or multi-disciplinary teams (internal and external resources)
  • Strong people and relationship management skills
  • Ability to engage and influence a wide range of stakeholders
  • Strong values and moral courage.
  • Strategic thinking and holistic understanding but tenacity and attention to detail.
  • Structured, with a methodical approach to work and delivery focused.
  • Professional credibility, advocacy, and communication skills.
  • Technical skills & experience in facilities management
  • Strong Programme and Project Management experience
  • Property Management experience.
  • Understanding of the role buildings play in protecting cultural material
  • Ability to design, scope, achieve approval, to sequence and then implement a series of improvement projects running together at the same time
  • Risk management experience and skills
  • Procurement experience.
  • Challenging problem solver, investigative mindset.
  • Track record in continuous improvement.
  • Understanding of the challenges and opportunities of operating popular, free visitor attractions.
  • Understanding of the challenges and constraints of maintaining iconic listed buildings at multiple sites with external grounds & art works.
  • Understanding and alignment with national agenda on environmental/carbon management.
  • Understanding of trends and best practice in the relevant technical areas
  • Dealing with all aspects of estates Health and Safety in complex multi-faceted, visitor facing organisations
  • Ability to work with a wide-ranging group of stakeholders to come to consensus on priorities for investment planning
  • Excellent organisational and communication skills


  • Degree level education. Relevant specialist qualification &/or experience


Salary: £ 49,035 - £56,866 (Pay Award Pending)

Starting salaries will normally be at the minimum or at a rate that reflects qualifications and/or experience which are of special value for the post and which are above minimum entry requirements.  

Hours: 42 hours per week inclusive of lunch breaks

Annual Leave: 25 days per annum & 11.5 public and privilege holidays 

Pension: Civil Service pension provisions enables the National Galleries of Scotland to offer a choice of occupational and stakeholder pensions, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.

The closing date for completed applications is Monday the 17th May 2021

Please note that the successful candidate will be subject to Basic Disclosure Scotland security clearance.

National Galleries of Scotland is a charity registered in Scotland (No. SC003728)

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