VACANCY- Tourist Research Graduate

New! CLOSING DATE: 23/04/2014

Kirkton Woodland & Heritage Group

Tourism Research Graduate

HND, Undergraduate Degree, Postgraduate Degree

Closing Date:
Management business development and logistics
Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross
pro rata 28hrs x 6 months x £16,836
6 months
Ref code

Placement summary

Kirkton Woodland & Heritage Group (KWHG) is recruiting for a recent graduate for a 6 month (28 hours per week) project role, focussing on the formation of a Research Plan to assist the group develop the next phase of the Smithy Hub at Strathcarron. The plan will take account of the views from local tourism providers, visitors and local arts/craft producers. The role involves liaising with the local Development Officer and Board of Directors.

Job description

Project Description

Apart from the acquisition of a local woodland, KWHG’s main focus is on the development of the Smithy Hub. The newly established Hub, is located within a 1.5acre semi woodland, owned by KWHG. The site supports two retail, heritage based businesses, a community treehouse, a disused Smithy barn and a work-unit. During 2013, the unit provided a venue for training delivery, they also piloted the idea of providing a visitor information service when the existing facility closed.

Adding to this, through their experience supervising the local Producer Market Days, they were aware that local craft workers, were looking for a base to display and sell their goods. Taking account of their needs and the allocation of space available, they formed a craft collective and some 22 local craft workers signed up to the project.

A robust Research Plan is essential for Phase Two of the Smithy Development. The placement will be tasked to work with the Local Development Officer (LDO) and Board to help develop the Plan. If successful, Phase Two, will bring about long term sustainability, jobs will be created, skills development/training will be available year round, levels of environmental and heritage awareness will increase, local craft workers will have opportunities to increase their income generation and visitor services will be improved The Plan will take account of current and future requirements at the Smithy Site. It will form the basis for a LEADER/LOTTERY funding application relative to costs associated with, the renovation and possible ****extension of a 19th century Smiths’ workshop, landscape works, extension to car park, storage facilities, marketing, and a Smithy Manager post. Suggestions for match funding will also be sought. A significant amount of research will be needed to feed into the Plan.

The successful graduate will be working on the following tasks:

• Gather background information from LDO, Board and craft workers (May) • KWHG familiarise graduate with needs, wants, aims, hopes (May)

• Liaise with all involved to get initial feedback on areas they feel could be improved to increase efficiency (May) • Develop questionnaire for visitors (May)

• Develop questionnaire and engage with tourism providers, art/craft workers, businesses (June)

• Produce some “low cost” marketing materials aimed at providing information to visitors (day trip and half day trip suggestions), list of local places of interest with contact details

• Develop questionnaire for Skills Development Trainers (June)

• Visit businesses and tourism providers (1 to 1 consultation) (June)

• Introduce 1-1 questionnaire to 100 visitors (throughout the season)

• Contact e.g. Inverness Forestry School, West Highland Dairy to see what potential may exist for residential type training using the Smithy Hub as the base, detail would feed into the Research Plan (July)

• Begin collating information gathered from the various surveys (July)

• Develop Research Plan (ongoing)

• Develop marketing strategy for existing Smithy services (July)

• Investigate case studies of similar projects delivered elsewhere ( August)

• Research funding options for professional services e.g. architect, planning fees, necessary in advance of an application submission to LEADER/LOTTERY (August)

• Collate visitor information from questionnaire (early Sept.)

• First draft Research Plan (mid September)

• Add options for potential income generation/better use of existing services (Sept)

• Present Draft to Board (end September)

• Present Plan to Board (early October)

• Allow time to reflect, evaluate, report (to mid/late October)

This position is part funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the European Regional Development Fund.


Minimum HND level qualification in local history/environment/tourism or art/craft relevant subjects. An undergraduate degree in those subjects would be desirable.

Skills / Experience

Essential Skills

  • Good interpersonal skills and written communication skills
  • I.T. Skills
  • Car and driving licence
  • Good local knowledge
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Show initiative and have the ability to work unsupervised from time to time
  • Positive approach
  • Confidence to approach business owners/visitors

Desirable Skills

  • Ability to prioritise and assess workload
  • Well ordered approach to tasks in hand


Placement benefits

As part of this ScotGrad Graduate Placement Programme, the candidate will benefit from support from a team within Highlands and Islands Enterprise and also access a four day residential course training focussed on employability and business skills.

Additional information

Location: Strathcarron, Wester Ross

Preferred start date: 01/05/2014

Company information

The Kirkton Woodland & Heritage Group was formed in 2009 and encompasses 148 members. The area the Group covers extends over 320 square km and includes the settlement villages of Lochcarron, Strathcarron and Kishorn. The Group works to create a sustainable community and support to local area, which suffers the effects of rural decline – aged population, outward migration of young people, lack of employment opportunities, influx of second homes, lack of social housing, large number of self employed, heavy reliance on tourism.

The Group manages the following activities;

• Facilitation of the Kirkton Woodland Stakeholders Group – aims to provide a vehicular access from the A896 to Kirkton Woodlands for multi purpose community development

• Seeking funding in support of the acquisition of the 93ha Kirkton Woodlands from Forestry Commission, Scotland

• Oversee the delivery of the monthly Lochcarron Producers Market – currently 51 registered stallholders

• Facilitate and deliver training workshops throughout the year

The Group’s income is generated from rental of two workshops, venue hires, training delivery, stallholders, occasional seminars and events.

Company sector: Tourism

Company website:

Placement contact details: Kristine MacKenzie
01520 722882—heritage-group/placements/tourism-research-graduate-uyschrdaqk   

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