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Operations and Visitor Experience Coordinator

Requisition ID:  24201

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Open Ended
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  16-Nov-2022

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


What’s in it for you? Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.


Newcastle is an inclusive global University community where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.


Salary: £27,131 to £28,762 with progression to £31,411 per annum


Closing Date: 01 December 2022


The Role


This post is a unique opportunity to join the team of a new public cultural institution dedicated to engaging the public with architecture and cities. Situated in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, the Farrell Centre project has been instigated by renowned architect-planner Sir Terry Farrell who donated £1 million to Newcastle University to establish the Farrell Centre in 2018. The building project to transform a late 19th-century building into the centre’s new home is due to complete by the end of 2022, with the centre opening in early 2023.


The Operations and Visitor Experience Coordinator, working in close collaboration with the Farrell Centre Director and university teams, will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Farrell Centre building and ensuring the safety and comfort of our visitors and that their experience of our building, exhibitions and programmes is as rich and rewarding as possible. The postholder will recruit and manage 2x Audience Experience Assistants, support exhibition organisation and installation and, working with the Centre Director, establish relevant policies, procedures and training and ensure they are regularly reviewed. 


For informal enquiries, please contact Owen Hopkins, Farrell Centre Director via email on


Normal working days: Wednesday – Sunday (with potential for flexibility once the centre is up and running).


What is the Farrell Centre?


The Farrell Centre emerges from the belief that the forces shaping the present and future of cities – whether architectural, in the context of planning and public policy, technological and digital, economic and environmental, social and cultural – should be of vital public concern.


It takes inspiration from Sir Terry Farrell’s recommendation that every city should have an ‘urban room’ where citizens can actively engage with their city’s past, present and future, while connecting with and contributing to broader national and international debates around architecture and cities.


The Farrell Centre will be a new type of public institution: part research hub, part civic space, part gallery and museum. It will run exhibition programmes, public talks and debates, organise workshops for schools, young people and community groups, make publications and commission projects.


The Farrell Centre will work in close collaboration with the Farrell Archive, which Sir Terry Farrell generously gave to Newcastle University in 2018 as a resource for research and public engagement. The Farrell Archive is the founding collection in a new programme of architectural archive acquisition at Newcastle University.


Key Accountabilities

      Building operations

Responsibility for the day-to-day management of the building, to include:

  • Ensure the building is always in a presentable state; checking all rooms at the start of each day (and WCs regularly throughout the day); and liaising with university cleaning team as required
  • Manage the building diary and room bookings, ensuring there are no clashes and rooms are set up and de-rigged as required
  • Liaise with university maintenance teams regarding regular and reactive maintenance as required
  • Be point of contact with university security team, in particular regarding late working notification, out of hours contact, alarms reset, etc
  • Be point of contact with university IT team
  • Manage storage areas of the building

     Visitor experience

Working with the Farrell Centre Director, responsibility for the day-to-day management of visitors’ safety and comfort, and quality of experience, to include:

  • Work to ensure the Farrell Centre is safe, welcoming and accessible to all
  • Work in collaboration with the broader staff team to ensure that all aspects of the Farrell Centre visitor experience are consistently of the highest quality
  • Recruit and manage 2x Audience Experience Assistants
  • Develop a pool of fully-trained casual staff (via the university’s JobsOC team) to cover holidays, sickness and additional staffing requirements
  • Work with Centre Director to ensure safety and security of the Farrell Centre building, exhibitions, and staff, liaising with university security team as required
  • Establish procedures for handling visitor feedback and/or complaints

Exhibition operations

Support the installation and maintenance of exhibitions, to include:

  • Working with Assistant Curator, contribute to practical aspects of exhibition organisation and installation, including organising equipment and materials, arranging additional staffing support, art handling etc
  • Assist with the installation of exhibition lighting
  • Assessing and advising on security and accessibility of exhibition designs
  • Organise opening receptions and press days as required

Policies and training

Working with the Centre Director, establish relevant policies, procedures and training and ensure they are enacted and regularly reviewed, to include:

  • Working with relevant university teams, develop and implement safeguarding policy; organise safeguarding training, DBS checks etc. where required
  • Working with university fire safety team, ensure adherence to fire safety procedures, including regular testing of fire safety systems and evacuation plan (fire drills), relevant training for staff members etc
  • Working with university accessibility team, ensure the Farrell Centre is fully compliant with all accessibility and equality legislation
  • Be the designated first aider and ensure a trained first aider provision is available when the centre is open to the public
  • Oversee day-to-day management of health and safety, including responsibility for completion of risk assessments where appropriate etc. liaising with university health and safety teams as required
  • Develop and maintain a gallery disaster plan


  • Develop opportunities for and manage volunteers and interns
  • Provide general organisation and logistical support to the Farrell Centre team as required
  • Work with the Farrell Centre Director to develop an online and on-site retail offer
  • Undertake any other grade appropriate duties at the discretion of the Centre Director and/or University manager


The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Experience in an operations and/or building management role or equivalent
  • Customer service and/or front of house experience, including team management
  • Commitment to the mission and values of the Farrell Centre
  • Excellent general IT, administrative and organisational skills
  • Excellent written English


      Attributes and Behaviour

  • Ability to work effectively across a variety of areas, dealing with multiple teams and colleagues
  • Strong time and task management, balancing tasks according to urgency and importance as appropriate
  • Ability to work in a highly collaborative, fast-paced, hands-on environment
  • Attention to detail in all aspects of work



  • A qualification in a relevant field


The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University is also a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.