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National Trust is seeking a Conservator


With over 200 historic places nationally and more than a million objects, the National Trust looks after the one of the world’s largest and most significant collections of decorative art and heritage objects set within their historic context. Connecting people with special places lies at the heart of everything we do, and drives our strategy ambition to move, teach and inspire our visitors through thought-provoking, relevant storytelling, and encourage wide participation across our core conservation work.

The National Trust was set up to look after places and spaces for the benefit of local communities. As a conservation charity, we have over 94,000 members in Northern Ireland who value the work we do and enjoy visiting the places in our care. One of our key priorities is to restore a healthy and beautiful environment that can be enjoyed for many years to come. We look after 22% of Northern Ireland’s coastline and 46 sq. miles of countryside including 8 Mansion House Properties of which 7 are accredited museums. In 2018, we welcomed over 2 million visitors and invested £17 million in looking after the places in our care across Northern Ireland. Our team is focused on making a real difference for the built, cultural and natural heritage and we are seeking an individual who will share that passion.

Please note this role is for 15 hours per week on a fixed term contract for 6 months.

What it's like to work here

You will form part of the Northern Ireland region’s internal Consultancy, which includes a wide range of conservation, marketing and supporter development specialisms, from archaeology and building surveying, to volunteering, participation, and wildlife.  Our Consultancy teams are based out of two hub offices spread across NI, Rowallane gardens, Saintfield and Belmont Tower, Belfast. You may work out of any hub, but will report to the regional conservator, based out of the Rowallane hub. Hub meetings, mixed teams and office social spaces are designed to foster a truly collaborative working environment, as our ‘Values and Behaviours’ are just as important as what we achieve.

What you'll be doing

You will work alongside the regional conservator, providing authoritative advice, and hands-on support and training for all aspects of preventive conservation, housekeeping, monitoring, collections conservation documentation and planning, in accordance with NT procedures, PACR, Museum Accreditation and Spectrum standards. This will include supporting the properties with the roll out and establishment of then National Trust Collections Management Instruction.

Working closely with the regional conservator and alongside other specialist disciplines, you will apply your technical expertise, creativity and innovation to support the delivery of core work and major projects which may impact the condition of, or present a risk to a collection item or historic interior. This will include liaising with NT’s central specialists and Heads of Profession on behalf of your portfolios. Personally you will manage remedial conservation projects, working with external advisers and commissioning specialist conservators to achieve agreed outcomes. You will share your knowledge and skills with colleagues, visitors and supporters to encourage understanding and best practice in collections conservation, and help create deeper connections with our places.

Who we're looking for

We are seeking an experienced Conservator working at (or towards) Accreditation Level and you will have extensive knowledge of preventive and remedial conservation of collections and interiors, working at PACR Proficient level.

You will need to demonstrate:

  • Deep understanding of preventive conservation practice & standards and extensive knowledge of a range of material types
  • Evidence of applying your conservation knowledge to a variety of historic contexts
  • An ability to deal with complex situations holistically, understand the bigger picture and how individual actions fit within it
  • Experience in prioritising tasks, managing projects and budgets, evaluating information and writing reports
  • Capability of working at pace to demanding schedules and deadlines, making clear, pragmatic decisions
  • Strong leadership and communication skills with the ability to motivate, influence and negotiate with assurance, professionalism and good humour.
  • Skills and experience in building trusted working relationships across mixed and single discipline teams
  • Confidence in working autonomously, and as part of a team, taking full responsibility for your own work and that of others, if applicable
  • Due to the nature of the role you will need to be able to travel to various sites across the region
  • IT literate, able to use a variety of software including Microsoft Office and database systems


Benefits include flexible working whenever possible plus free parking at most locations. You’ll be entitled to discounts in high street stores and cinemas, National Trust shops and NT cafes, and have free entry to NT properties for you, a guest and your children (under 18).

Your health and wellbeing is important to us and is supported through generous annual leave and the option to buy additional days (minimum contract length applies), a cycle to work scheme, subsidised health cash plan, a loan towards rental deposits and confidential access to a free support service 24 hours a day should you need it.

Your future financial health is helped by an employer matched - up to 10% of basic salary - contributory pension scheme and you can further your career with training and development tailored to you.

All of this and the opportunity to give something back to your community with up to 5 days of paid volunteering per year!

To find out more and apply for this role, please visit National Trust website