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Willesden Jewish Cemetery “House of Life” Project Manager

  • Location: Willesden
  • Sector: Community
  • Salary: £50,000 pro rata
The United Synagogue wishes to appoint a Project Manager to oversee delivery of the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF)-supported “House of Life” heritage project at its historic cemetery in the London Borough of Brent. This is a role for a professional with particular experience of, and capability for, managing a complex and time-critical heritage project that involves multiple stakeholders and comprises building and landscape adaptation and conservation, plus learning, volunteering, community engagement and public programming.   We are looking for someone who will help make a difference to the delivery of this exciting project for people, communities and heritage. The project manager will oversee a small staff team in project managing delivery of capital works and activities and lead manage consultants to ensure the NLHF Round 2 plans are delivered most effectively, and project objectives met. The successful candidate will have a clear track record of similar project planning and delivery, including budget management, preferably in a heritage or related field, with excellent people, communication and organisational skills. 

The Project
Willesden Jewish Cemetery is London’s pre-eminent Victorian Jewish cemetery, the only Jewish cemetery in England to be Registered as a Park or Garden of Special Historic Interest. It is an active burial ground, but largely unknown outside the Jewish community. The US is working to open Willesden Cemetery as a public heritage site, for people of all backgrounds to visit, learn, contribute and value it as an important part of shared British and Jewish heritage. It has hundreds of memorials to some of the most notable individuals from the community’s history as well as thousands of ordinary people. The “House of Life” project will make the 150-year history of the cemetery accessible to the public for the first time and develop audiences. It will create opportunities for people to engage with Willesden’s heritage, benefit from volunteering and training opportunities, and take part in outreach, guided walks, exhibitions, events and open days. Key parts of the plans are to refurbish and re-purpose historic buildings for heritage visiting; green the landscape, improve bio-diversity and conserve monuments. New interpretation of the cemetery’s stories will be introduced. A multi-faceted Activities programme will be delivered and evaluated.

The “House of Life” project has four strands:
  1. To repair and upgrade the fabric of historic buildings, green the landscape and conserve graves, making the site safe and accessible to the public for years to come.
  2. To refurbish and adapt The Lodge, Prayer Hall, Portico and former Mortuary into multi-purpose visitor welcome, interpretation and learning spaces. Interpretive media will explain the heritage of the site, histories of the British Jewish community, the lives of people buried there and Jewish burial custom.
  3. Enable greater public access, engage with and inspire a wide range of people, including existing and new visitors, Jewish and non-Jewish, through guided tours, self-guided trails, exhibitions, formal and informal learning, events, volunteering and outreach.
  4. Secure a sustainable future for the cemetery as a visitor destination as well as permanent Jewish burial ground, with a shift to significant volunteer involvement and partnership working.
  • Oversee the project management of the construction phases of the building and landscape capital works through RIBA Stage 6 (Handover and Close Out).
  • Oversee the project management of the development and delivery of the Activity Plan and Interpretation Plan through to the end of the project, including Evaluation of project success against its goals and organisational learning.
  • Ensure that all parts of the project are realised on time, to plan and budget.
  • Be familiar with the latest NLHF requirements and be well versed in relevant guidelines and best practice for this work. The Project Manager will be required to understand the project by drawing on the United Synagogue’s Round 2 NLHF bid documents, ongoing work and plans, and other research.
  • Carry out the duties described here and any others commensurate with the role.
  • Oversee the Capital Works Manager and Activities and Volunteer Manager in project managing the programmes of work set out in the Round 2 capital works schemes, Conservation Plan, Management and Maintenance Plan, Activity Plan and Interpretation Plan, and ancillary and enabling works for the project that are funded by the US.
  • Act as the lead manager of consultants engaged to work on the project and oversee delivery of their contributions to Capital Works and Activities.
  • Ensure that all teams cross-refer their work to that of others to ensure initiatives across the project take account of the requirements of others, including time constraints and technical or financial scope.
  • Set up and agree processes with project staff team for the running of meetings and effective communication of progress, quality, programme and costs management, including how approvals, variations and reporting will be handled.
  • Prepare updates for and attend regular meetings with the Management Board, NLHF and Advisory Group as required.
  • Check incoming invoices against budgets and schedules and obtain authorisation for payment, promoting coordinated and effective processing of financial paperwork.
  • Monitor third parties’ performance according to the terms of their appointments/contracts, and report to the Management Board.
  • Obtain authorisation from the Finance Director where a consultant’s limit of authority is exceeded.
  • Together with relevant staff, and with consultant QS where appropriate, prepare and run transparent and competitive processes, including tenders where appropriate, to recruit the remaining consultants and third parties not yet appointed to the project: (At the time of writing these include specialist capital works contractors, and a Formal Learning Consultant.)
  • Ensure that procurement processes are robust, compliant with all current UK and European legislation and NLHF requirements and not subject to any challenge.
  • Manage the drafting of tender documentation, advertising of tender opportunities and running of tender processes, assessment of bids, shortlisting and interviewing of candidates. Advise the US on any issues, and prepare recommendations for approval. Prepare tender reports for the US and NLHF. Conduct negotiations and manage the appointment, contracting of professional teams and suppliers and issue of documents.
  • Report regularly report to the Management Board including actual progress vs planned progress and on any deviations from scope, schedule or costs and any additional actions that may be needed.
  • Manage actual vs planned delivery budget and cost reporting to the Finance Director for all aspects of the Capital Works and Activities programmes; produce updates for monthly Management Board meetings.
  • Produce regular summaries and progress reports for the Management Board covering risks and forward planning.
  • Report progress to NLHF through timely and complete reports and cost updates, quarterly or more frequently as they require.
  • Using Microsoft Project, develop and keep up to date a project timetable and critical path for all delivery across capital works and activities.
  • Maintain the project’s detailed Project Execution Plan and keep it up to date.
  • Oversee the project’s Risk Management strategy, updating the Risk Register and Lessons Learned Log, to anticipate key milestones in the project, and advising on any additional works or mitigating actions required.
  • Support the work of the Management Board, US Burial and other departments in planning the future sustainability of Willesden Cemetery and the continuation of heritage activities and enhanced site maintenance beyond the end of the three-year NLHF project.
  • Support the recruitment by US Burial of a staff Conservation Stonemason following the end of the Capital Works, and the introduction of enhanced memorials and grounds maintenance into 2020/2021.
  • Liaise with staff and consultants to prepare a Handover Plan or similar management tool identifying roles and responsibilities of each in Handover towards the end of the capital works project. Establish review, approval, variation and reporting procedures for the Handover Plan.
  • Ensure accurate, timely and complete record-keeping and version control of documents, designs, images, media coverage, photography and all material generated in project delivery.
  • Return all documents to the US at the end of the project.

  • First degree in a relevant discipline or equivalent experience 
  • Professional membership of any relevant bodies Accredited Project Management Qualification (desirable) 
Experience and Knowledge 
  • Clear track record of the effective and efficient planning and delivery of projects in a similar or related field
  • Experience in planning, prioritising, organising self and others in projects in a similar or related field
  • Experience in planning and delivering Capital Works and Community Engagement or similar project work
  • Ability to multi-task across a diverse range of projects, keeping long-term vision and focus on immediate priorities.
  • Demonstrable experience of working in multidisciplinary teams to deliver projects within time and budget constraints
  • Experience of managing significant project budgets
  • Experience of running tendering procurement processes
  • Familiarity with committee protocol and procedures
  • Expertise in risk management for similar projects
  • Knowledge of health and safety requirements for capital projects
  • Good understanding of issues relating to diversity, social inclusion and access.
  • Experience of lead project managing delivery of NLHF-supported heritage projects (desirable)
  • Proven experience in a senior role managing or supervising staff and consultants (desirable)
  • Experience of costing and bidding for heritage or similar project work (desirable)
Skills & Competencies
  • Excellent people skills and an ability to motivate team members and stakeholders
  • Excellent planning and organising management skills
  • Able to write clearly, with attention to detail, to summarise and present progress reports
  • Able to manage a diverse programme of responsibilities
  • Able to work under pressure and to tight schedules
  • Able to work independently and to judge when to flag issues or resolve an issue independently
  • Excellent numerical ability
  • Able to network and connect with stakeholders from a range of fields Positive attitude, flexible, change-oriented and results-focused
  • Committed to own professional development and training.
  • Strong IT skills including Microsoft Office & project management systems
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Project planning software (desirable)
  • Presents compelling, focused reports that maintain momentum and earn stakeholders’ support for the project (desirable)
  • Able to represent the project with passion and enthusiasm (desirable)
Quality & operational standards
  • Ensures a high standard of work is produced
  • Personally demonstrates United Synagogue values, build trust with all stakeholders, and proactively contribute to organisational success.