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Bryn Jones Associates Ltd - Developing and transforming customer experience …developing and transforming customer experience
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Who We Are

“As well as being a highly experienced consultancy, our consultants have backgrounds, past and present as senior managers and directors running large, medium and small heritage, museum, arts attractions and sports venues from the public, charitable, private and quasi-public sector.”

Bryn Jones

Bryn Jones

Bryn is the Founding Director of BJA and has extensive experience of running visitor, tourist and leisure operations of various sizes from community level to world class venues.

Before founding BJA, Bryn was the Commercial Director of The Alnwick Garden in Northumberland where he led the management and operation of the £45m Garden through key stages of development, 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 this, Bryn was the Commercial Director of the Lowry Centre in Greater Manchester. Bryn was part of a new senior management team that was brought in to turn the operation around. Within 18 months he had improved the bottom line of the operation by over £500k.

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 to become known as setting the benchmark for customer service within the heritage industry. During this period the Museum won the ETB’s ‘Visitor Attraction of the Year Award,’ two customer charter marks, the Design Week Annual Awards.  He improved the commercial performance of the areas he led by over 60% and customer satisfaction ratings at this 1.4m to 1.8m visitor charging world class attraction never fell below 94%.   Bryn went on to project lead all the commercial and customer service elements of the Wellcome Wing, a £50m extension to the Science Museum.

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 12 months. Prior to this Bryn held a variety of management roles for York Leisure Services setting up and managing leisure and community centres. During this period he was integral to the department and its facilities winning several major regional and national sports management awards.

Bryn has a Masters Degree in Sport Administration from Kent State Univ’, Ohio and a BA Hons degree in Leisure Management from St John’s College, York. Bryn attended the Disney Quality Management Training Course in ‘Disney World’ Florida and the Ashridge leadership Development Programme.

BJA are a corporate member of the Museums Association, an associate supplier of the Association of Independent Museums and a registered supplier of the Association of Cultural Enterprises.

Graham Stratford

Graham Stratfold

Graham has over 35 years’ experience in the leisure management industry with over 30 years having been at a senior management level.

Graham has been a senior consultant with BJA since the company started. He has supported BJA on most of their major business, commercial and visitor experience related projects, ranging from options appraisals and feasibility studies, developing new operating models and business planning for existing operations and new developments such as the Black Cultural Archives, Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery, The Regent Centre (Dorset) and Norwich Castle, to delivering major commercial and visitor services reviews for organisations ranging from Oxford University Collections to the Royal Albert Hall and National Museums Scotland.

As well as working for BJA, Graham is the Head of Visitor Experience at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall where he is responsible for all the customer service, operational and trading activity at the Museum. Prior to this he was the Head of Visitor Services for the Museum of London Group. Graham was integral to establishing a commercial and customer service culture and leading all elements of the visitor experience. He successfully project led the front of house, visitor services elements and the operational set up of the £27m re-development of the Museum of London.

Graham was the Head of Visitor Services at the National Railway Museum for 12 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. 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 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. Prior to this he was project manager for York’s flagship £10m new entertainments centre and previously the Manager of York’s first dual use sports centre.

Graham’s training and qualifications include an OND in Hotel and Catering Operations, a Certificate in Management Studies, the NEBOSH General Management Certificate and a management development programme.

Andy Widdowson

Andy Widdowson

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.  This has 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.

Andy 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.

Through BJA, on an interim basis, Andy was 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. Through BJA, Andy was the Commercial Operations consultant for the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, a performing arts venue, including a 2,500-seat theatre, conferencing and events, five public catering outlets and a range of bars. In his 18 months he devised and implemented a new service strategy; a new team structure and improved the P&L performance. Andy also led the catering scoping business plan for the £72m re-development of the Alexander Stadium, Birmingham for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Andy has a BSC Sports Science Degree and is a member of BIFM and the CMI.

Jemma Allan

Jemma Allan

Jemma has over 16 years’ experience in the heritage sector, including seven years’ experience of managing museums and galleries and five years as a Casework Manager for the Heritage Lottery Fund.

At the Heritage Lottery Fund North East, Jemma was responsible for the management of the entire portfolio of HLF funded projects across the region, including being directly responsible for the assessment and monitoring of the region’s major grants including Auckland Castle (£16.8m) and Northumberland National Park Authority’s The Sill (£13.5m). Jemma has worked with projects in a variety of heritage sectors including museums, galleries, archives, historic buildings, parks and landscapes.

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 Service. This included leading on the £5m William Morris Gallery Development Project through both the Round 1 and Round 2 HLF applications.

Jemma also spent over four years as the Curator Manager of Bailiffgate Museum and Gallery, a local history museum in Alnwick, which was run by an independent trust, a small team of paid staff and a predominantly volunteer workforce.

Jemma has worked as an associate consultant for BJA on a range of projects including conducting major comparator, competitor and market research reports as part of business options appraisals and reviews for the Regent Arts Centre in Dorset, the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton and the Waltham Abbey Royal Gunpowder Mills. Jemma co-wrote the HLF Round 2 project business plan for the £14m Norwich Castle restoration project, the new £4m London Fire Brigade Museum, the £8m re-development Ipswich Museum and previously for the £2m Command of the Heights project in Chatham, Kent. Jemma’s previous work with BJA has included work for clients such as the V&A, National Museums Scotland, Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands and English Heritage.

Jemma has a MA in Gallery Studies from Newcastle University and a BA Hons degree in English and Art History from the University of Lancaster.

Michelle Jenkins

Michelle Jenkins

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 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, including leading on location hire as part of the commercial review of Oxford University Museums and creating a unique underground events space called ‘Mail Rail’ for The Postal Museum.

Michelle has a Masters degree in Film Theory from the London College of Music and Media and a BA Hons degree in History and English from the University of London.

Mollie Dodd

Mollie Dodd

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 eight 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.

Stuart Graham

Stuart Graham

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.

Stuart 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.

Stuart 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; and The Wallace Collection.

Graham Bancroft

Graham Bancroft

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.

Sue Dixon

Sue McGrane

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; 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 nine museums and galleries. Sue was also an integral part of the team that 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 (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 (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); and preparing and delivery of operational training for the Malta Council of Science & Technology in preparation for Malta’s first science centre.

Susan Holding

Susan Holding

Susan has 25 years of senior management experience developing hospitality and event businesses within the heritage, cultural and not-for-profit sectors. With strong strategic planning combined with sound operational methodology, she has successfully created and developed profitable hospitality businesses with a proven track record of financial growth for high-profile iconic brands including The Science Museum, English Heritage, The Althorp Estate and The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). She also provides consultancy services for clients wishing to maximise their commercial potential.

For 10 years Susan was Head of Events at The Science Museum London where she developed a vibrant events business and project managed the commercial event opportunities in the new Wellcome Wing.

During 6 years at English Heritage as Head of Hospitality, Susan identified and developed a country-wide portfolio of historic properties suitable for commercial events. Working with curators and heritage inspectors, she created an industry template for operating events and other high risk activities in historic properties.

At Althorp Susan created and managed the programme of events to celebrate the Estate’s 500th anniversary and created a new income stream for the travel trade at Christmas.

At BAFTA, Susan was Head of Business Strategy for BAFTA’s members’ club 195 Piccadilly. As well as generating year-on-year growth, she developed successful brand partnerships with The New York Times, The Telegraph and Fortnum & Mason. She mentored the Events and Operations Team and enabled the TUPE transition from contractor status to in-house operation.

Susan is an experienced mentor and team leader with skills in recruitment, training and performance management.

Bryn Jones

Dominic Wong

Dominic has over 12 years’ of experience marketing international and high profile visitor attractions, serving as Marketing Director in his last three roles.

Dominic is an award-winning marketing professional with nearly 20 years of experience working with international and high-profile visitor attractions. He was the first marketing director at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter and was given the additional remit for Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood. He served as Marketing Director for Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi – a billion-dollar theme park that opened in 2018.

Dominic works as a marketing consultant for numerous high-profile attractions and cultural venues, including Dreamland Margate and Shire Hall Dorset. He is currently consulting for the global Legoland and Legoland Discovery Centres – leading a repositioning project for the latter. With Bryn Jones Associates, he has written marketing strategies for Norwich Castle, Black Cultural Archives and the London Fire Brigade Museum.

He also creates education programmes for visitor attractions. Clients include The View from the Shard, KidZania and the Emmerdale Studio Experience (which his work contributed to them winning Best Schools Programme).  This year he created new education resources for the new Churchill Exhibition at Blenheim Palace.

Bryn Jones

John Malone

John is a highly experienced, strategic operations professional with over 30 years of commercial and service success achieved at the customer interface in the visitor attraction, museum and heritage sector.

John has his own visitor experience consultancy and includes significant experience of working with BJA. As a part of the phase 2 NLHF grant application, he prepared the management and maintenance plan for the new London Fire Brigade Museum. He was the interim project and operations management at the Waltham Abbey Royal Gunpowder Mills.

Over the last ten years John has been involved throughout the planning, pre-opening, delivery and ongoing development of Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. Working as an external contractor his roles have include being the Director of Visitor Experience, Health and Safety Manager and the Visitor Experience Projects Manager. A few of his key achievements have included the attraction opening on time on budget and has constantly delivered a safe, high quality experience. John project managed from inception through to opening: the Platform 9 3/4 expansion; the Forbidden Forest expansion; and introduced new revenue generating initiatives and expansions including café, photography, VIP tours / events etc. His role has included the maintenance and conservation planning to ensure the long term care and upkeep of the collection including all the digital show equipment and building maintenance repair.

Prior to this, for eight years John was the Head of Visitor Experience at the National Maritime Museum Greenwich, Royal Observatory and Queens House. This included being responsible for identifying and fully exploiting all impulse spend opportunities across the three museums (and developing new ones) and being responsible for all visitor facing aspects of health and safety and security including disaster planning, emergency planning and business continuity planning. He was the designated premises supervisor and licence holder for all the museums and led the development of the visitor experience throughout all museum initiatives.

His other previous roles have included

• The Visitor Services Project Co-ordinator of the National Maritime Museum Greenwich, including the Royal Observatory and Queens House.
• Games and Photography Manager – Chessington World of Adventures and Thorpe Park
• Security Manager Chessington World of Adventures
• Ride operations and retail departments Chessington World of Adventures

His qualifications include:

• 2012 – NEBOSH National General Certificate – Health and Safety Management
• 2010 – Prince 2 – Project management
• 2006 – Personal Licence Holder
• 1996 – Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies, at Kingston University, special electives in Managing Information Technology, Corporate Strategy and Service Industry Management

Just some of our many valued clients…