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Visitor Services Manager

  • Dumfries & Galloway
  • £30000 - £40000 per annum
  • Permanent

Eden Scott is delighted to be working with Stair Estates, a diversified rural estate in Stranraer in southwest Scotland with a varied let property portfolio; in-hand farming, forestry, tourism and country sports enterprises.


The Estate rental portfolio comprises let farms, grass park lets, cottages, industrial premises and telecoms and renewable leases. In-hand enterprises include forestry, country sports, Castle Kennedy Gardens, and events at Lochinch Castle.


We are seeking a Visitor Services Manager to join the team and to focus on Castle Kennedy Gardens and play a pivotal role ensuring that the management objectives of Stair Estates are achieved through excellent customer service, and with delegated responsibility for tourism, catering, retail, events, and duty management and will be the "face" of Stair Estates to visitors and suppliers.


The position is primarily responsible for delivering the highest standard of visitor experience for all visitors to Castle Kennedy Gardens where they will ensure the efficient and profitable running of Castle Kennedy Gardens Shop, Plant Centre, and Tea Room as a successful commercial enterprise and consistent with its status as a 4* Visitor Attraction.


The role involves leading and managing a small team of staff, managing performance, recognising training needs and potential where appropriate.


Responsibilities include day to day management of the Shop, Tea Room and Plant Centre, and as line manager to the Shop and Tea Room staff. Strategic, creative, and financial management of the gift shop and tearoom, ensuring that innovative ideas and current trends in catering are being delivered, manging the till and stock, generating weekly report, and constantly looking at ways to maximise income through effective purchasing and creative merchandising.


The role will be responsible for all aspects of the visitor experience for individual and group visits, and will involve regular monitoring of customer feedback, mystery visitor and Visit Scotland audits and the development of suitable action plans depending on the results.


The position will assist with the annual marketing programme, working where appropriate with internal and external marketing support, reporting to the Estate Factor and the Owners, the Earl and Countess of Stair.


As the role develops there is scope for the post holder to take over responsibility of managing and developing the visitor experience at the Holiday Cottages working closely with Housekeeping and the Properties Manager, take responsibility for managing the visitor experience for a varied programme of sporting activities and be responsible for planning, implementing and reviewing a wide range of annual events.


Skills and experience required:



  • Experience in retail and visitor services sectors, ideally within another Visitor Attraction, Hospitality, Tourism or similar operation.

  • Experience supervising and motivating staff

  • Ability to demonstrate good health and safety awareness

  • Strong IT skills - office management, report and stock takes

  • Excellent written communication, copywriting, and proof-reading skills (blogging, vlogging and social networks)

  • A good understanding of public expectations of a garden attraction

  • An appreciation of marketing, promotion and the influence of social media

  • An enjoyment of rural life and working on an Estate

  • Full driver's license is required


Salary is up to £40k dependent on skills and experience plus company benefits.


Accommodation is available at a very reasonable rate and re-locating candidates will be offered this property or another rent free for the first three months.


Eden Scott is dealing exclusively with this client on this vacancy so if you are keen to join this rural business, please submit your CV online or for an informal chat please call Sally on 07776 662506.


Sally Rae
Point of contact
Sally Rae
Business Manager
0131 550 1138 07776 662 506