Job vacancy – Freelance strategic development consultant at Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

Project: Strategic Development Consultancy
Location: Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life
Fee: £10,000 including VAT and all expenses including travel
Status: Freelance Consultant
Reporting to: Pippa Griffith, Museum Director
Timeframe: January – March 2021.
Closing date: 10am 6 January 2021

Tiverton Museum is a vibrant, award-winning and much loved museum that provides extensive displays on the history of Mid Devon. Until COVID-19, the museum ran a lively events programme, including temporary exhibitions, talks, holiday craft activities, themed days and lots more.

The museum contributes to the local economy as a key visitor attraction and works closely with its local community. We offer a strong education programme for schools in a rural area where access to learning outside the classroom is limited. We provide a successful reminiscence service for older people in care and residential homes.

The museum runs the town’s Tourist Information Service assisting local people and visitors to the area. The museum operates with a very small team of staff, supported by around 80 volunteers. The impact of COVID-19 has led to a reduction in staff numbers at the museum.
Prior to the pandemic, we operated with balanced budgets, with modest reserves. Recently we have been focusing upon diversifying earned income streams to reduce dependence upon local authority funding. We received funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF £58,700) and the AIM (£8,960) to implement improvements to our operation, and generate new income events based income streams. Also strengthened governance by transferring from Trust (239531) to CIO (1181976).

The key focus in our strategic plan for 2020 was to progress with plans for a redevelopment of the museum site, building on a feasibility study carried out in 2018 by West Waddy ADP architects.

Whilst we are committed to these plans, our momentum has been temporarily stalled by the pandemic and having to take emergency action to meet this immediate challenge. In the slightly longer term, we recognise that the pandemic will affect these plans as we don’t yet know the impact on the funding scenario in the future for capital redevelopment, and we will need to rethink our plans to create income through lettings (we had been thinking of office or hot desking areas).

Project Objective
We are seeking to commission a thoroughgoing review of our strategic development with the aim of reducing our over-reliance upon Local Authority funding and grants by generating more earned income and making full use of our site and collection. We wish to commission an experienced consultant to research, develop and facilitate the Trustees’ thinking for a new strategic development / business plan. The Trustees are keen to explore all commercial options for the museum.

The project will be based on close consultation with trustees, museum staff and volunteers, and stakeholders. This consultation will involve at least two in-person meetings at the museum; one at the start of the project and one to discuss the draft report / recommendations. The consultant will provide regular project updates via Zoom and email. The first meeting will be a chance for some blue sky thinking, and to revisit elements of a recent (2018) business planning exercise bearing in mind the impact of the pandemic.

Project Deliverables / Outcomes:
A plan for 2021 to address the immediate challenge presented by COVID-19 by finding ways to generate income to offset the loss of many of our earned income streams..

A plan for the short term (up to 2023/24) to plan for the museum’s sustainable future, including a review of the museum’s assets and sources of income generation, to identify new opportunities for the museum (especially new income sources) and to plan the route towards a capital redevelopment.

To plan for the key long term objective of achieving financial sustainability and independence for the museum to reduce and eliminate the reliance on grant funding for core activities.


  • Closing date for submission of proposals: 10am 6 January
  • Interviews will take place between 11 and 22 January (via Zoom).
  • Ideally the contract will conclude at the end of March 2021 (there is scope for a short extension).

Your proposal to undertake this project should include:

  • Your professional credentials and relevant experience
  • Examples of similar work undertaken.
  • A methodology of how you propose to meet the requirements of the brief.
  • A programme / timetable indicating how you would deliver the project and key dates for tasks.
  • A costing breakdown (including day rates) to include all expenses and VAT where applicable
  • Two professional references from clients on previous relevant projects.

For an informal chat and submission of applications, please contact Pippa Griffith, Director at
Please note that Pippa will be unavailable between 24 December and 3 January inclusive.