Who We Are
“What makes BJA unique is that they have significant management experience in small and large organisations and venues and they are former senior managers and directors of operations of some of the UK’s most prestigious visitor attractions and world class venues”
Bryn is the Founding Director of BJA and has a wide range of experience in running visitor, tourist and leisure operations of various sizes from community level to world class venues.
As Head of Visitor Services at the Science Museum in London Bryn was an integral part of the management team that turned around the operations in the 1990’s to become known as setting the benchmark for customer service within the heritage industry.
It was during this period the Museum won the ETB’s ‘Visitor Attraction of the Year Award,’ two customer charter marks, the Design Week Annual Awards and he improved the commercial performance of the areas he led by over 60%. Bryn went onto project lead all the commercial and customer service elements of the Wellcome Wing, a £50m extension to the Science Museum.
Bryn then became the Commercial Director of the Lowry Centre in Greater Manchester. The Lowry Centre was National Millennium landmark project for the arts costing nearly £100m and was a major performing arts venue as well as holding the LS Lowry Collection and major conference and exhibition spaces. He was part of a new senior management team that was brought in to turn the operation around. Within eighteen months he had improved the bottom line of the operation by over £500k.
Bryn was approached and went on to become the Commercial Director of the Alnwick Garden where he led the management and operation of the £45m Garden through key stages of this development in Northumberland, including the set up and launch of the £3.3m world’s largest tree house, including a 100 cover indoor restaurant, and the commercial and visitor management strategies behind the £12m visitor centre and pavilion.
Prior to the Science Museum Bryn had an outstanding track record in sport and leisure management. His most notable achievements included as the Leisure Contracts Manager for Swansea Leisure Services turning around the in-house operation and improving the bottom line by over £500k in twelve months and winning the leisure management contract against strong private competition, in a period before TUPE regulations applied.
Prior to this Bryn spent a long period in a variety of management roles for York Leisure Services setting up and managing leisure and community centres. Following a sabbatical year taking a Masters Degree in the USA he returned to York and became a part of the department’s senior management team leading community recreation and leisure strategy. With the coming of Compulsory Competitive Tendering he then focused on working on the client side preparing the management contracts for three indoor swimming pools and what was the new £10m Barbican entertainment and sports complex. During this period he was integral to the department and its facilities winning several major regional and national sports management awards.
- A Masters Degree in Commercial Sport Administration from Kent State Univ’, Ohio
- A BA Hons degree in Leisure Management from St John’s College. York
- Attended the Disney Quality Management Training Course in ‘Disney World’ Florida
- Corporate Member of the Museums Association
- Attended the Ashridge leadership Development Programme
Graham has been involved as the lead consultant since BJA was established and has been involved in all the business planning projects and the major operational reviews. Graham is also Head of Visitor Experience for the Museum of London Group.
He has responsibility for the entire front of house and back of house operations which impact directly on the visitor experience ranging from admissions, information, gallery staff, visitor engagement to cleaning, gallery maintenance, duty management, catering and events operations. He has been responsible for establishing the Museum of London Group as one of if not the benchmark in terms of service delivery for the sector, including the £27m re-development of the Museum. Prior to this Graham was the Head of Visitor Services at the National Railway Museum for twelve years where he generated a £4.6m net profit, excluding admissions. Working as a senior manager in the trading company of the Science Museum Group Graham established a commercial and customer service culture, leading all the operational aspects of the museum and the commercial activity including admissions, retailing, catering, events, setting up the highly successful Flying Scotsman train service and road train services. He was an integral part of the team that led the museum to win the ‘European Museum of the Year Award.’
Graham has an outstanding background as a senior manager in sports and leisure. He was the Manager of York’s first dual use sports centre, and led all areas of the planning set up, opening and operation and guided the team to become joint runner up in the UK Finals of the Sports Management of the Year Award within 18 months of opening. Graham was then promoted and became the project manager for York’s flagship £10m new entertainments centre overseeing and co-ordinating all areas of the development through to its successful opening and launch on time, on budget and to the standards expected of such a major attraction. He then went on to become the CCT Project Manager and Contract Manager for York Leisure Services where he developed and implemented all the contract monitoring systems for York’s leisure facilities including three swimming pools, a leisure centre and a major entertainments centre.
His earlier management experience included junior management and supervisory positions at a number of leisure centres across the UK.
Graham’s training and background was in Hotels and Catering including an OND in Hotel and Catering operations, Hotel and Catering Institutional Management Association and a Certificate of Management Studies.
Mollie is an experienced operator and project manager with an extensive commercial background and understanding of the leisure, arts and heritage industries.
Mollie worked at senior management level in the catering industry for over 13 years with some of the largest caterers in the world, Milburns, a division of Compass and Digby Trout Restaurants, a division of Elior. Working primarily within some of the most prestigious visitor attractions in England, then latterly with high street restaurants, Mollie has also been responsible for catering within schools and colleges and for large events which means that she has a diverse experience and knowledge of very different ways of working.
Adapting her commercial and management skills from catering to visitor attractions Mollie has worked for the National Trust managing several properties as a General Manager, and has acted as interim Director for a new visitor attraction in Oxfordshire during the set up and first year period.
Over the past 8 years Mollie has worked as a freelance consultant with a wide variety of clients and venues, including visitor attractions, museums, art centres and restaurants. This includes a major project for the National Trust leading the North region in the implementation of a multi-million pound project to integrate various new systems, including new tills, procurement and finance.
Working with BJA, Mollie has been involved in projects for clients ranging from Clifton Park Museum and Kirkharle Courtyard in the North to Oxford University Collections, Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery and the Garden Museum in London. Primarily working on improving business aspects such as customer service and income generation as well as efficiency savings, including staffing structures, Mollie has also provided specific catering and events recommendations and practical objectives.
Mollie has a passion for excellent customer service and is an experienced facilitator, regularly presenting and facilitating on various subjects. An interest in the arts in heritage sector is strengthened with a BA Hons degree in 3D Art and Design.
Jacqueline has an outstanding track record of success in the events and hospitality industry as an operator, a senior manager and as a director. She is highly experienced in sales, marketing and management within the hospitality industry. She has spent thirteen years working in four star hotels and a National Museum. Jacqui believes passionately in delivering quality: her approach and the strategies that she develops for our clients gives them real confidence as to how they can achieve their goals.
Her most relevant experience within the industry included being the Head of Corporate Events for the National Railway Museum in York for five years where she led and increased the business from £140k to £1m. As a result, this part of the business went from making a loss to being an extremely important financial contributor to the Museum. Under Jacqui’s leadership, the conference department received the White Rose Award for Tourism Conference Venue of the Year in 2001 and 2004. As the Head of the Department she developed an excellent sales and events team who were highly motivated to ensure demanding targets were exceeded every time.
During this time, she also launched conferences and events at what was the new Locomotion Museum in County Durham. She developed and implemented a sound marketing and sales strategy which led to a positive start to the business.
Jacqui then went on to become the Director of Sales for the Marriott Hotel Group in York where she increased the hotels market share by 15% and increased the wedding business by 100%. As an executive member of the hotel team she was directly involved in the business strategy and implementation of plans for improvement and change. She had total responsibility for marketing and PR of the hotel as well as the development and execution of sales training. The hotel won conference venue of the year for three consecutive years as well as employer and hotel of the year in 2009.”
Jacquie’s consultancy work has included clients such as Bolton Castle where the three-year target for weddings and venue hire has been achieved and exceeded in the first year. Jacquie leads on all of the PR, Marketing and incoming sales enquiries.
Jacquie has been involved with BJA for a number of years working on a variety of events based projects including for clients such as Thorp Perrow, Bolton Castle and Rotherham Heritage and Museums Services.
Stuart supports and enables heritage and leisure organisations with their quest to provide their customers with a first class customer experience by delivering excellent customer service. During the past 20 years he has built up a deep understanding of the issues surrounding operational, management and customer service development and designs and delivers training programmes that have been specifically designed to work within this sector.
He has a background in the leisure industry and with a diploma in personnel management and as a Chartered Member of the CIPD he has a wealth of training design and delivery experience. In 1986 Stuart was personnel officer, zone manager and a duty manager at the National Garden Festival in Stoke-On-Trent where 2.8 million visitors were welcomed and cared for over a six month period. Stuart became training manager at The Mersey Ferries and helped transform the business from being a transport operator to a major tourism attraction. He then moved into tourism and leisure consultancy being a training consultant for L&R Leisure Consultants and Scher International.
He specialises in working with line managers and frontline staff and designs and delivers training programmes, coaching and service tutorials to inspire, inform and educate them in the key communication skills. He has developed strong links with high profile attractions and businesses to smaller independent operators. This means that he is experienced in the complex relationship and multiple objectives of arts, historical and educational institutions, which are also vitally dependent on welcoming and servicing a wide range of customers. His recent clients include:
- The Southbank Centre
- Sadler’s Wells
- The British Museum
- Tate Modern & Britain
- Jockey Club Racecourses (e.g. Cheltenham, Epsom Downs, Aintree, Sandown Park)
- Somerset House
- The National Trust
- The Trentham Estate & Gardens
- The Wellcome Collection
- The Wallace Collection
Graham is an exceptional retailer with an exceptional track record. He provides practical, pragmatic support across a broad range of retail issues including shop design and layout, retail strategy, business planning, product range development and management systems. He has real, direct experience of over 200 retail projects working with a wide variety of museums, cathedrals, art galleries and tourist information centres.
These retail projects have included development of new shops from the planning stage to a fully operational unit, as well as work with existing shops to improve key areas of their business.
Graham has worked within the retail environment, particularly in themed venues, for over 22 years and is well known for his realistic advice and ‘hand’s on’ assistance. His clients have varied from York Minster to the National Museum of Science & Industry, which includes The Science Museum in London, The National Railway Museum, York and the National Media Museum, Bradford. Where required Graham is able to work closely with the client’s existing retail teams so that they retain ‘ownership’ of projects as they develop.
Typical feedback about Graham’s work includes:
“Graham’s help and advice in all areas from sourcing shop stock, shop fitters, an Epos system and merchandising was outstanding. His ‘hand’s on’ and friendly relaxed approach put us all at ease. Since we have opened we have had many complimentary comments from our visitors”
Michelle cut her teeth as part of the Events and Filming Team for Wandsworth Council, venue managing commercial location filming and delivering large public events such as Battersea Park Fireworks display and the Borough Show. Following this, Michelle managed a wide range of location filming across five busy London boroughs before her strategic role of managing the London Filming Partnership at Film London. Here she spearheaded this ground breaking initiative uniting over 160 public and private sector organisations to invite and facilitate productions filming in London. The Filming Partnership changed legislation, developed codes of practice and provided a closer connection between London and the film industry which in turn led to a 30% increase in filming in the capital.
From 2007, Michelle diversified her skills and experience by heading up business development at The Royal Parks. Here she instigated and developed a wide range of commercial activities across London’s eight Royal Parks. This ranged from catering, retail and brand licensing to sport and fitness. Successes included generating high profits from retail at events such as the Royal Wedding and a Best Licensed Product award at the Association of Cultural Enterprises in 2012. Before leaving the Parks, Michelle negotiated a valuable contract to host the largest 2012 Games Superstore outside the Olympic Park.
Michelle now works as a consultant helping public sector organisations generate commercial income. Recent achievements have included instigating a wide variety of income opportunities from a brand new financially sustainable visitor centre to running public events such as craft and farmer’s markets and open air film screenings in Buckinghamshire’s Country Parks. She has also assessed the feasibility of converting a community centre into a start-up business hub for the creative sector for Wandsworth Council.
Michelle has worked on several BJA projects, she led on location hire as part of the commercial review of Oxford University Museums. She is the lead on creating a unique underground events space called ‘Mail Rail’ for the new national museum: The Postal Museum. Michelle is also currently helping a private filming location company to manage and develop filming across London on behalf of local authorities.
Michelle has a Master’s Degree in Film Theory from the London College of Music and Media and a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in History and English from the University of London.
For 5 years Jemma was a Casework Manager for the Heritage Lottery Fund North East where she was responsible for the management of the entire portfolio of HLF funded projects across the North East, including being directly responsible for the assessment and project monitoring of the region’s major grants including the development and delivery of Auckland Castle (£16,8m) and Northumberland Park Authority’s The Sill (£13.5m) amongst a range of other projects.
Prior to this Jemma was the Museum, Gallery and Archives Manager for the William Morris Gallery and Vestry House Museum in Waltham Forest, where she led the overall management and development of the Museum, Gallery and Archives Services. This also included leading the HLF funded £5m re-development of the William Morris Gallery Development Project through both the stage one and stage two HLF application.
Jemma also spent 5 years as the Curator Manager of a local history museum in Alnwick, called the Bailiffgate Museum and Gallery, which was run by an independent trust, a small team of paid staff and a predominantly volunteer workforce.
Jemma has also worked as an associate consultant for BJA on a range of projects including clients such as the V&A, National Museums Scotland, Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands and English Heritage.
Jemma has an MA in Gallery Studies from Newcastle University and a BA Hons degree in English and Art History from the University of Lancaster.
A highly motivated Visitor Experience Operations Manager with a demonstrable track record of outstanding customer service and business improvement at a strategic and operational level, Sue is passionate about service and sales excellence and demonstrates strong organisational skills. Qualified Prince 2 Practitioner and IOSH Managing Safely, Sue thrives in a challenging and demanding environment.
Before becoming freelance, Sue was the Visitor Experience Operations Manager at the Science Museum. With overall responsibility for the visitor experience team consisting of in excess of 90 people providing a visitor service in excess of £2.79 million. Her achievements included ensuring successful delivery of world class service to the visitors, while delivering income targets of £300,000; managing the cleaning contract worth in excess of £1million to ensure cleaning was delivered to a high standard; helping the Museum attain ‘World Class Service’ accreditation, ‘Enjoy England’ Quality Assured Large Visitor attraction status in 2010. In addition to this, under Sue’s leadership the Science Museum won ‘Best Customer Service Visitor Attraction of the Year’ Award and the Visit London Silver Award for ‘Top Visitor Attraction of the Year’.
Sue’s work with BJA has included:
- Reviewing and developing a new staff rota and operating model for Tyne & Wear Museums and Archives, which covered 9 museums and galleries
- An integral part of the team which conducted major visitor services reviews for National Museums Scotland and similarly for the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge
Other projects have included:
- Operational set up of Mishkat Interactive Center, Saudi Arabia; her main responsibilities including training, mentoring and assisting the Mishkat team with writing and implementing standard operating procedures
- Operational Management of four visitor experience sites at the Olympic Park during the London 2012 Games; Her main responsibilities including writing and implementing standard operating procedures and recruiting, training and accrediting over 120 members of staff. Sue also produced all mandatory operational, resourcing, training and Health and Safety plans
- Preparing and delivery of Operational training for the Malta Council of Science & Technology in preparation for Malta’s first science centre
Through BJA, on an interim basis, Andy started working as the General Manager of the ArcelorMittal Orbit (The UK’s tallest sculpture) located next to the Stadium on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Andy turned the operation around to deliver a more sustainable attraction. He stayed with the Orbit for over 16 months including overseeing the successful planning, installation, and mobilisation of the world’s longest and fastest slide at the same attraction.
Andy has an incredibly strong customer, operations and commercial background at senior management level for some of the UK’s most high profile attractions and across a wide range of sectors. These have included being the Assistant Director of Estates & Facilities – Commercial Services at the University of Huddersfield where he opened a new £23m sports, catering, student union and learning centre, including four new catering brands.
He was Deputy General Manager Center Parcs, Whinfell Forest, Cumbria for eight years, leading all departments of this unique multi-venue commercial operation including accommodation, retail, food & beverage. Prior to this Andy was the Head of Visitor Services at the National Media Museum for eight years leading all the commercial and operational management of the cinemas, retail, catering, corporate hire and a team of 60 staff to deliver an award-winning visitor experience.
Andy has also a very strong sport and leisure management background having been the General Manager of Swansea Leisure Centre, which attracted over 1m paying visitors and was Wales’ most visited tourist attraction and in the UK’s top twenty attractions (ALVA). Prior to this Andy was the health and fitness manager at a number of venues.
Andy has a BSC Sports Science Degree and is a member of BIFM and the CMI.