A key new post has been created at one of England’s greatest stately homes as it aims to become a leading UK visitor attraction and community regenerator.
The Preservation Trust restoring Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham has appointed Ian Taylor as its first operations manager.
Chesterfield-born Ian joined the Trust as a management assistant in May 2019 and so impressed the team, within six months he was promoted to the crucial role, which sees him hands-on in the day-to-day running of the stately home and its growing events programme.
Ian comes with a wealth of experience, having begun his career with the UK’s largest conservation charity the National Trust, organising events at Clumber Park, where he helped to run large-scale music and outdoor events and designed and delivered the annual events programme.
He then returned to education to study for a degree in Events Management at the University of Derby and later gained a Level 5 Diploma in Event Safety Management,before moving to Nostell in Wakefield.
Ian, 28, who was schooled at Mount St Mary’s College, worked within Nostell’s visitor experience team, driving revenue to fund conservation work at what is one of the National Trust’s greatest “Treasure Houses”.
Ian brings to Wentworth Woodhouse a wealth of cross-sector experience, having also worked in facilities management and compliance as well as later specialising in health and safety risk management of outdoor events with audiences in excess of 50,000.
Ian, 28, who lives in Crich, Derbyshire, said: “I am living and breathing heritage in my role as Operations Manager at Wentworth Woodhouse.
“I feel privileged to be part of the team increasing the visitor experience and ensuring we deliver excellence in everything we do.”
Ian had previously worked while a student with WWPT’s CEO Sarah McLeod during her time as boss at Cromford Mills in Matlock.
He added: “I jumped at the opportunity to work with Sarah at Wentworth. It is a phenomenal place, and it’s a very exciting opportunity to be part of such a radical regeneration project so early in its inception.
“There are many challenges. Managing operations of a site which has large-scale events, weddings and film crews on site alongside day-to-day visitor, catering and retail is all in a day’s work.
“But it doesn’t end there. My most unusual tasks so far include risk-assessing and delivering our very popular rooftop tour, where visitors can see repairs being carried out 18 metres from the ground, and dressing as a Regency dandy for a photo shoot to promote our first-ever period dance.”
Ian is also the vice-president of the National Outdoor Event Association, leading on pressing issues such as sustainability, welfare and compliance in the sector.
Away from work, Ian enjoys restoring classic and vintage tractors, JCBs and plant machinery with his father. He is also a cornet player, formerly with Chapeltown Silver Prize Band and now with Ashover Brass Band.