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Venue Hire Consultant


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About us

People’s History Museum is the national museum of democracy, telling the story of its development in Britain: past, present, and future.  The museum provides opportunities for all people to learn about, be inspired by and get involved in ideas worth fighting for; ideas such as equality, social justice, co-operation, and a fair world for all.

Situated in the heart of Spinningfields, we are a key Manchester venue.

Our conference and event facilities sit within a magnificently restored historic Grade II listed Edwardian Pump House.  Now the only surviving Edwardian pumping station in the city, it originally opened in 1909 and was the third and last station of the hydraulic pumping network in Manchester.  Our pump house supplied power to Manchester’s mills and warehouses, wound the Town Hall clock and even raised the curtain at the Opera House.

The Engine Hall is the museum’s largest space that can be hired for ceremonies and receptions, with lecture theatre style seating for 100 or dining for 120 people.  The Coal Store features original exposed brick walls and a vaulted wooden ceiling and can accommodate ceremonies for up to 50 people.  All the museum’s galleries are also licenced for wedding and civil partnership ceremonies.

We work in partnership with our in-house catering business Open Kitchen Cafe & Bar, a social enterprise aiming to change the food system to reduce food waste and food poverty. Profits from their business go into providing food and supplying meals for people struggling with food insecurity across Greater Manchester.  Our shared values make us one of Manchester’s most exceptional ethical events spaces.

Venue Hire

The museum is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee with a separate Trading Company which is responsible for the museum’s commercial activities and gifts its profit back to the charity.

The museum has been hiring the venue for private events for over a decade and has developed a strong client base, hosting over 100 events a year for a wide range of organisations.  We have hosted a variety of events from conferences and workshops, to formal dinners and social events, including several wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions.  We are now considering our future business model and want to better understand the marketplace so that we can respond to opportunity and market our unique venue to its full potential.

In 2022, PHM secured investment into its venue hire service, particularly relating to the development of our offer.  This gives PHM the opportunity to bring in external expertise to help provide insight, research, data and recommendations to support the development of the museum’s venue hire offer for 2023 and related operational objectives.

We are seeking a consultant to support us to develop this approach, providing market analysis, investment advice and marketing strategy.  We are considering our future operating model and are open to radical and innovative ideas, but are clear that we want to balance commercial methods with our values and the social purpose of the museum.  We want to explore short term actions which can generate income within our current model, and potential to adapt the model in the future to maximise potential.

To support the work, PHM can provide:

  • data relating to financial and operational performance
  • interviews with our in house team and catering provider


Intended outputs

We are seeking a consultant to provide market analysis and recommendations in the form of a report and presentation to the Trading Company Board summarising:

1. How we compare in the market, linked to:

  • Price
  • Quality of venue and facilities
  • Offer – different packages for different kinds of events
  • Operation – including operational hours, parking, add ons
  • Service / customer journey
  • Brand – where others sit / how they position themselves


2. Analysis of our model:

  • Demand – where it comes from, where enquiries originate, where they don’t convert
  • Analysis of different types of events – financial analysis and operational challenges
  • Financial modelling of our current model, and potential growth areas to understand where opportunity lies
  • Detailed understanding of constraints
  • Analysis of feedback from enquirers and customers


3. Learning from other venues and events businesses that PHM should consider in designing our offer.

4. Recommendations for short term changes which will maximise income within the current model, and for potential longer term innovation which could drive additional growth.

The consultant(s) will be required to:

  • Align work to the vision, mission and objectives as outlined in this brief
  • Utilise financial and event data across our CRM and finance systems
  • Involve PHM staff, stakeholders and customers where relevant
  • Conduct market research
  • Indicate opportunities for growth and/or efficiency savings


Key dates for the project will be as follows

  • Deadline for the receipt for proposals: 5.00pm, Friday 23 September 2022
  • Interviews: Wednesday 5 October 2022
  • Briefing meeting: October 2022
  • Draft report to PHM: December 2022
  • Presentation to PHM Trading Company Board: January 2022
  • Final report and recommendations: January 2022


Responding to the proposal

Concise proposals (max six pages) should be submitted in electronic format to the contact details below.
Proposals should outline:

  • Suitability for the role; skills, experience and track record
  • Proposed methodology including timing and estimated days required
  • Cost breakdown of the project


Interested parties are invited to discuss the brief and opportunity with PHM.
The key contact for this project will be:

Aine Graven, Head of Development
People’s History Museum
Left Bank
Manchester M3 3ER
0161 838 9190

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