Job Opportunity: Head Gardener

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Head Gardener

This vacancy has now closed.

Permanent role, 37 hours per week, salary £32,910 – £35,745

Closing date: 15 July 2021

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Head Gardener to play a key role in the conservation, preservation and enhancement of all the outdoor spaces belonging to the newly formed Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust (RPMT).  The Royal Pavilion garden is the only surviving Regency era garden in the country, whilst the gardens at Preston Manor are comprised of formal gardens including a listed Walled Garden.

The Royal Pavilion garden is a Grade II Listed, Registered Historic Park and Garden, with an area of 3.3ha, surrounding the iconic Royal Pavilion in the historic heart of Brighton. The garden is the only example of an essentially fully-restored, picturesque, Nash-designed Regency period garden in England. The Garden demonstrates the palette of species available in the years up to 1825, and also the new introductions available to George IV from Kew Gardens, such as tiger lilies. It is known for its extensive and varied collection of trees, especially the collection of elm trees.

The garden is intertwined with the social history of Brighton – while it was originally designed as picturesque pleasure grounds for The Royal Pavilion, the grounds were opened to the public in 1851. During the First World War, the Royal Pavilion estate was used by the military as hospitals, first for soldiers from Indian regiments then by British limbless men who were taught skills to help them get post-war work. Today the garden is used by local residents and visitors to relax and take a break from city life.

RPMT is about to embark on developing an exciting NLHF funded project to transform the RP garden. The Head Gardener will be a key member of the Project Team and will be responsible for certain aspects of the delivery of the project outcomes.

The postholder will be the strategic lead for planning how to manage a historic garden in a city centre setting.  We are looking for someone who has knowledge and an understanding of historic landscapes, a high level of horticultural experience, leadership and people management skills, good people skills with both internal and external customers and a proven track record of managing budgets and projects. The postholder will need to be confident in managing Health and Safety to the standards required. They will be responsible for managing the garden team and volunteers daily and must be confident in prioritising workloads across the gardens and outdoor spaces and thinking about the bigger picture and vision of RPMT.

RPMT offer a range of staff benefits including a workplace pension scheme with significant employer contributions.

We offer generous holiday entitlements, starting at 25 days plus bank holidays. We also offer a range of family friendly policies including maternity, paternity and shared parental leave.

If you would like to have an informal conversation about this role please contact Chloe Tapping, Director of Collections and Conservation

How to apply

​To apply for this role, please email the following documents to

  • A personal statement explaining why you are interested in the role and what skills and experience you would bring. Please keep this to a maximum of 2 pages.
  • Your CV, including at least two referees (references will only be contacted with prior permission and only if an applicant is offered the role)
  • A completed Application Pack
  • A completed Equalities Form