Chair of Board of Trustees

Chair of Board of Trustees
Unremunerated, though reasonable expenses will be paid
Location: Wells, Somerset

The eight-hundred-year-old Bishop’s Palace sits at the heart of the medieval city of Wells among fourteen acres of stunning gardens. The site is operated by The Palace Trust which is a registered charity and manages it as a heritage visitor attraction.

After an extended period of successful growth, The Palace Trust is at a pivotal moment in its strategic development, and we seek an experienced and inspirational leader to Chair the Board of Trustees and lead the Trust in its next phase. Knowledge of the charitable heritage sector would be an advantage but most essential is the commitment of the Chair to our values and vision, together with an ability to raise awareness of and support for the Palace with new audiences and new benefactors.

The Bishop’s Palace, and the adjacent Cathedral, are the two principal attractions for this small city whose income is very largely derived from tourism.  Each year, the Palace welcomes some 140,000 visitors to its historic buildings, first-class café, and regular events, exhibitions and functions. The magnificent gardens are recognised by the RHS as a partner garden. The Palace attracts visitors from all over the world and in recent times the gardens especially have been a particular source of solace, recreation and comfort for local people.

The Palace is still the home of the Bishop of Bath and Wells, and his offices and those of the Bishop of Taunton share the site.  The relationship with the Bishops, their staff, and their own requirements on the Palace are deeply important.

The annual turnover is around £1.6m.  The Trust employs around forty staff under a new Chief Executive and a talented senior management team. In addition, around 150 volunteers donate their time, expertise and affection to the successful running of the gardens, buildings and events. 

Full details of the role can be found:

Application is by letter addressed to Maureen Boylan, Search Committee, The Palace Trust, The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Somerset BA5 2PD.     

Application Deadline is 5pm on Wednesday 29th June 2022.  

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to visit the site and meet the staff and Trustees in the week of 11th July 2022.   Formal interview will be held in the week of 18th July 2022.   

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