British photographic history

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Job: Head of the National Media Museum, Bradford (updated)

The search begins...As reported back in December in BPH the current Director of the National Media Museum, Colin Philpott, is to leave in April. The search for his successor - re-designated as museum Head has now started. See: for the original report.  

Head of the National Media Museum
UK, Bradford

Award wining, visionary and unique the Media Museum houses world class collections in photography, film, broadcast and new media.

As Head of the Media Museum you will have the drive and imagination to commission creative content and embrace new thinking, technologies and approaches for our collections, exhibitions and programmes.

The Museum is based in the heart of Bradford.  It is one of a group of four museums including the Science Museum, the Railway Museum and the Museum of Scienceand Industry Manchester.  Together we reach over 5 million visitors.


The role includes:

  • developing a vibrant programme of innovative exhibitions an programmes for local and national audiences
  • leading the external promotion of the museum and its collections to a wide array of stakeholders
  • building cultural partnerships across a local and national landscape
  • developing and coaching an effective leadership team to ensure they reach their full potential
  • working with the science museum to develop and deliver Medial Space – a new exhibition and programme venue for the MediaMuseum in London.

For an information discussion, please contact Heather Mayfield on 0207 942 4862, for further information please visit




You may wish to upload a single document in Microsoft Word format which includes both your CV and a covering statement.




Job Title:  Head of National Media Museum

Department: Media Museum

Location:   Bradford

Reports to: Deputy Director, Science Museum

Date:  25 January 2012

Purpose of the Job


To lead the Media Museum at Bradford, ensuring its future success and maximising the impact of its exhibitions and programmes for local, and national, audiences.


To develop a clear strategic and business plan for the national media collections held by NMSI, and ensure optimum public access through exhibitions, display, digital delivery and research.


Work with colleagues to ensure that Media Space becomes a landmark cultural venue, and ensure that a creative programme for the Media Space enhances the cultural offer in Bradford.


Key Deliverables/Accountabilities

  1. To manage national collections of film, photography and television at Bradford.
  2. To lead the collections and exhibitions teams ensuring they stay abreast of contemporary practice to produce high quality, innovative, visitor focused products that enhance the Museum’s reputation and expand audiences.
  3. Develop and motivate an effective senior team, coaching them to reach their potential.
  4. Setting of and managing of standards across all areas of responsibility
  5. Support the Deputy Director (Science Museum) to maximise access to the collections and ensure that a deeper of understanding of the collections is achieved through scholarship and other research.
  6. Support the Deputy Director (Science Museum) to devise the exhibition, seminar and learning programme for the Media Space and display galleries in Bradford.
  7. Work towards the recognition of Media Space as a major cultural offering, working closely with the arts team at ScienceMuseum, and curatorial team in Bradford and London.
  8. To ensure a strategic approach to building the collection, and robust de-accessioning where holdings no longer have public value.
  9. To lead the external promotion of the museum and its collections to a wider array of stakeholders.
  10. To work devise an audience strategy, working closely with the Directors of Learning and Enterprises, to create targets that maximise visit numbers, whilst also balancing reach and financial impact.
  11. Support the Deputy Director (Science Museum) to recruit an excellent Advisory Board; and lead on its management and participation.
  12. Build partnerships and alliances with regional cultural, governmental and commercial players.
  13. To work with the Director of Master plan and Estate, Deputy Director (Science Museum) and other relevant NMSI colleagues to develop a long-term master plan for the Bradford museum and its collections.
  14. Cultivate corporate and individual sponsorship and patronage.
  15. Take care of your personal health and safety and that of others and report any health and safety concerns.  Ensure proactive compliance with NMSI H&S Policies, including risk assessments and implementing safe systems of work

Working Relationships and Contacts

  • Direct working relationships with the Deputy Director Science Museum and the NMSI Executive group
  • Strong working relationships with: the Director of Master Plan and Estates, the Director of External Affairs and the Director of Development.
  • Strong working relationship with the local authority in Bradford, local cultural organisations, and specialist audiences
  • Strong working relationships with the creative industries represented in the MediaMuseum’s content


Line Management and Budget Responsibility

Directly line manages: 4-6 people

Indirectly line manages: 50-60 people in multidisciplinary teams


Budget Holder of  £4,000-5,000k


Candidate Profile


  • A strong track record of creative success at strategic level in museums and/or galleries
  • A strong track record of commissioning creative content, in display and learning programmes in a museum setting
  • The proven ability to translate ideas into effective action speedily and within a tight budget.
  • Comfortable with change, and effective at promoting it
  • A strong interest in media and associated technology
  • The ability to be a successful ambassador for the museum, communicating the Museum’s core messages effectively at all levels internally and externally
  • A strong track record of building effective partnerships in cultural organisations nationally and internationally
  • Experience of building and championing national venues/galleries/cultural institutions outside London

Skills, Knowledge and Relevant Qualifications

  • Educated to post-graduate level in a relevant subject and\ or evidence of substantial experience of developing and delivering successful creative museological content in different organisations.
  • Demonstrates strong leadership and management skills that will deliver strong performance
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Excellent networking skills
  • Strong negotiating skills, able to focus on museum priorities and achieve a coherent approach to branding across a wide spectrum of activity. 
  • A demonstrable track record of working effectively with different types of collections


  • Leads the team to increased output, higher levels of creativity, stronger connections with science and art content for local and national audiences
  • Ensures a strong outward focus for all activities aligned with meeting the needs of visitors and scholars
  • Leads an effective and pro-active management team that delivers world-class museological outputs
  • Is strongly focused on innovative creative content that directly connects visitors with the Museum’s collections and the creative industries
  • Is strongly committed to developing and delivering a world class media museum within a group of science and industry museums
  • Looks for and develops suitable synergies within the NMSI group to increase capacity and capability in the team at the MediaMuseum

Scope for Impact

  • Will lead the MediaMuseum to be a leading cultural venue in Bradford and London.
  • Will develop and secure strong and meaningful relationships with the public and industry in Bradford and West Yorkshire.

Please note:

  • This job description is not exhaustive and amendments and additions may be required in line with future changes in policy, regulation or organisational requirements, it will be reviewed on a regular basis.
  • This role is subject to a Disclosure Scotland basic criminal record check

For further information see:

Closing date 5 March 2012

We welcome applications from all sections of the community in which we work. We particularly welcome applications from disabled people and we guarantee interviews to suitably qualified disabled applicants.  

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