Historic Royal Palaces - Trustee

Body: Historic Royal Palaces
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sector: Culture, Media & Sport
Location: Board meetings are typically held in one of the Palaces and this will include Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland. Depending on the circumstances at the time, Board meetings may be held by videoconference.
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: Trustees give their services on an honorary basis and receive no remuneration, except for expenses reasonably incurred in the performance of such services.
Time Requirements: The time commitment is typically the equivalent of about one full day per month although more might be required from time to time. This currently includes four half-day Board Meetings, an annual strategic review session, other sub-committee meetings as necessary, plus time to study papers, and to attend events.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    25/02/2021 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport wishes to appoint a Trustee with expertise and experience in historic buildings conservation and/or developing the potential of heritage sites to the Board of Historic Royal Palaces. The successful candidate will contribute to the governance of the charity and the delivery of its objectives. Applications are encouraged from all sections of the community to help ensure that the Historic Royal Palaces board is representative of the diverse society it serves. Historic Royal Palaces would particularly welcome applications from individuals who are based outside of London.

The role of Trustees

The Board of Trustees consists of a Chairperson and eleven Trustees who are appointed by either HM The Queen or the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Once appointed, all Trustees must act in the best interests of the charity. This appointment will be made by the Secretary of State.

The Board of Trustees is ultimately accountable for the organisation and for ensuring that the Charter aims are met. It delegates authority within agreed limits to the Executive Board and provides oversight, monitoring, support and advocacy. Trustees retain the authority to contribute to and approve operating plans and budgets, and other major projects and strategies. The Executive Board, comprising the Chief Executive and seven Directors, is responsible for preparing operating plans and budgets and for the day-to-day operation of the organisation.

Historic Royal Palaces has a fundamental charitable commitment to help everyone learn about the palaces in their care and the stories that they hold. It shares its work with the public on-site, off-site and on-line, and in many ways – for example through public programming, formal and informal education programmes, outreach activity and as an Independent Research Organisation. We work in partnership with schools, arts and theatre groups, community organisations and many more. We are award-winning and regarded as internationally-leading in the heritage sector, and we want to build further on this record of achievement.

Person Specification

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate in their application the following qualities:

  • Expertise and experience in historic buildings conservation and/or developing the potential of heritage sites, from a background in the architectural/ property/construction world or a related sector;
  • Ability to make a significant contribution to the overall strategic direction and governance of HRP, and to think strategically so as to be able appreciate the complex organisational balance between charitable aims and financial and commercial pressures;
  • Commitment to Historic Royal Palaces, its cause and fields of interest, and to preserving cultural heritage, improving the education and understanding of British and World history;
  • Ability to engage constructively with Trustees, the Executive Board, staff and stakeholders on the range of issues necessary to achieve our aims and be able to connect with people effectively at all levels;
  • A strong commitment to diversity, inclusion and providing opportunities for all and;
  • An understanding of the principles of non-profit governance and a willingness to support fundraising appropriately.

Additional Information

Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) is the independent charity charged with the management of six royal palaces and their associated contents and landscape. We aim to stir every spirit, to inspire and provoke change.

As custodian of some of Britain’s most iconic historic buildings, HRP is responsible for the care, preservation and presentation to the public of the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, the Banqueting House at Whitehall, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland. In the last few years it has welcomed five million people a year.

The five London palaces are owned by Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Crown and are held for the benefit of the nation by the Government through the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Hillsborough Castle is owned by the Government and is The Queen’s Royal Residence in Northern Ireland.

HRP was established by Royal Charter in 1998. Under the Royal Charter, HRP has two primary aims:

(a) to manage, conserve, renovate, repair, maintain and improve the palaces to a high standard consistent with their status as buildings of royal association and historic and/or architectural importance; and

(b) to help everyone learn about the palaces, the skills required for their conservation and the wider story of how monarchs and people together have shaped society by providing public access, by exhibition, by events and education programmes, by the preparation of records, by research and by publication, and by such other means as are appropriate.

Since 1998, HRP has been responsible for the five London palaces under contract with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Responsibility for Hillsborough Castle is under contract from the Northern Ireland Office.

HRP is a public corporation and receives no public revenue funding: all costs are met by self-generated income. Turnover in 2019/20 was c. £100 million, the majority being from visitor admissions.

Like many other organisations, HRP has undergone significant change in the last year. Due to COVID19, the palaces were closed from March until July 2020 and forecast income in 2020/21 is currently £13.8 million. An organisational restructure is currently in progress. The 2 revised organisation is expected to have c. 750 staff. Despite the ongoing challenges, HRP has been a self-financing independent charity for over 20 years, with an extensive record of development and achievement. It remains HRP’s ambition to achieve its plans, and set a course to reach more people and to stir more spirits, which will guide its work in the coming years.

Further information about HRP is available on its website; www.hrp.org.uk.

Final HRP Trustee Role Information Pack
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