The Willow Tea Rooms Trust
Charles Rennie Mackintosh Willow Tea Rooms restoration, preservation and creating a legacy for future generation Evaluation Consultant Brief


This document is a brief for consultant/s wishing to tender for the evaluation of The Willow Tea Rooms Trust’s £5.6M HLF funded project to ‘restore and reinstate the original fabric’ of the 1903 Mackintosh designed tea rooms at 217 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow and ‘create an accessible visitors centre, exhibition, learning space, shop and conference facilities’. The trading entity and social enterprise operation of the Tea Rooms – ‘Mackintosh at the Willow Ltd’ (MAW) including the training and development of The Prince’s Trust Hospitality Trainees. Because of the different elements involved it is understood that this role may be split between more than one consultant in a specialist field. 

The document sets out: 

·       Section 1: Information about The Willow Tea Rooms Trust, the ‘client’. 

·       Section 2: Information on the overall project being delivered at 215 and 217 Sauchiehall Street including approved purposes and progress to date as well as the existing plans for the evaluation. 

·       Section 3: The brief. 

·       Section 4: The practicalities for this tender including information requirements, submission deadlines. 

Section 1: The client: The Willow Tea Rooms Trust

The Trust was established to ‘Restore, preserve, sustain and create a lasting legacy for the Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Miss Cranston’s Tea Rooms for future generations.

In 2014 a private individual, Celia Sinclair funded the purchase of the Tea Rooms building in order to prevent a forced sale, closure of the Tea Rooms and probable loss of its contents to collectors as the landlord and tenant had gone into receivership. The building is now in the ownership of a Registered Charity ‘The Willow Tea Rooms Trust’ in order to conserve the fabric of the building, which was in a poor state and in need of urgent repair. 

It is effectively a single building preservation Trust, working to ensure that a heritage asset of unquestionable value to the city of Glasgow, and to the word, is protected, secured and a robust sustainable future secured for it.



The Trust’s objectives were identified as:-

·       Undertake the repair and restoration of the Tea Rooms as designed by Mackintosh in 1903

·       Provide facilities that are appropriate to the use and significance of the building, that will continue to ensure a sustainable future.

·       Share this 20thCentury architectural masterpiece with the public.

·       Celebrate the lives and achievements of Miss Cranston and Charles Rennie Mackintosh in the building they created together

·       Act as a catalyst and focal point in the regeneration of the famous Sauchiehall Street

Listed buildings:

·       217 Sauchiehall Street – ‘A’ Listed

·       215 Sauchiehall Street – ‘B’ Listed

The Willow Tea Rooms Trust (WTRT) is responsible for the upkeep of 215 and 217 Sauchiehall Street and is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status. It comprises of nine Trustees, selected for their broad range of skills and experience, from business and finance to architecture, heritage, historic buildings, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Miss Kate Cranston expertise. An Expert Advisory Panel was set up alongside the Board to ensure the project would stand up to academic challenge.

Section 2: The Project  ‘Charles Rennie Mackintosh Willow Tea Rooms restoration, preservation and creating a legacy for future generations’

The Willow Tea Room’s ambitious project £5.6M project sensitively repaired, appropriately conserved and accurately reinstated lost heritage at Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s world famous Tea Rooms, commissioned by his patron Miss Catherine Cranston.

The Category ‘A’ listed 217 Sauchiehall Street has become fully accessible, everyone is able to experience Glasgow’s only remaining Mackintosh Tea Room. In the adjoining ‘B’ listed 215 Sauchiehall Street, a permanent exhibition over two floors interprets Mackintosh’s significance, design genius and the remarkable Miss Cranston: successful entrepreneur and inspired patron of the Arts.  A new bespoke Learning Suite for schools and other educational groups provides rich learning experiences, reflecting the Trust’s core commitment to protecting and preserving the heritage for the public, encouraging and facilitating its study and appreciation. The Tea Rooms operates as a social enterprise with training, learning and sustainability at its heart.

The Willow Tea Rooms Trust was formed in response to the need to secure the future, due to the forced sale, of the last remaining operational Tea Rooms in Glasgow created by Catherine Cranston, who commissioned Mackintosh to design the external elevations, internal design, artworks, furniture, cutlery and staff uniforms.  

The buildings were in a very poor state of repair.  They were in desperate need of urgent repairs.  Water was coming through the main roof and the gallery roof was sagging, Dry rot was spreading. There was no heating source in the building and the electrical wiring was in poor condition.

Needs Assessment Summary 

Heritage need 

The building needed to be comprehensively repaired as the previous owner had failed to invest in its repair and maintenance resulting in a poor condition of the fabric of the building.

Security risks were high. Arrangements were made to remove high value items of historic importance to the Glasgow Museum’s Store. The Salon de Luxe doors have been insured by the Trust for £1.5M.

Glasgow Life viewed this project as the flagship project for the opening of the 10 year Mackintosh Celebrations beginning in June 2018, 150thanniversary of Mackintosh’s birth.

Visitor need 

The Tea Rooms lacked any wheelchair access to the dining areas and there was no Accessible WC, the only toilet was on the top floor. The Billiard Room was an inaccurate presentation of the original.

There was no interpretation about either Charles Rennie Mackintosh or Miss Cranston in the Willow Tea Rooms.

The Charles Rennie Mackintosh story in the City is difficult to access because it is fragmented. The information centre at the 215 will provide a much need information base to direct visitors to other Mackintosh sites.

Organisational Need

MAW is a new business and has been affected by the closure of Sauchiehall Street due to the fire at the GSA, Victoria’s nightclub and the Avenues Project which resulted in a severe drop in footfall in the area. Delays to Capital Works  - board room, av theatre and terrace have prevented MAW from generating projected income.

MAW has therefore been unable to expand the staff structure in order to market the site better.

The project submitted a round one application to HLF 15 December 2015.  In March 2016, the application was rejected and the WTRT were advised to value engineer the project and resubmit the application. The second round one application was submitted in 15 June 2016. In October 2016 the project was awarded a round one pass along with development funding of 252,100.  In order to stay on programme for opening on the 7thJune 2018 to celebrate the 150thbirthday of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, The Willow Tea Rooms project team, working alongside external specialists submitted the round two HLF application on 16thMarch 2017. The project was awarded a round two pass by the HLF in August 2017 with the full amount of the grant requested (circa £3.6M). The project is now in the delivery phase and will:

·       Preserve and restore the Tea Rooms for the benefit of the general public

·       Establish a sinking fund to maintain the Property in perpetuity ensuring the survival of its cultural, social and historic significance

·       Create an Education and Visitor Centre adjoining and integrated with the Tea Rooms with modern lift access, which will comply with the DDA regulations, and facilities open to the public and dedicated to the work of Architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and entrepreneur, Catherine Cranston.

·       Advance, promote, encourage art, creativity and entrepreneurship by educating and inspiring visitors about all aspects of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s work. And, the business and social history of Catherine Cranston.

·       Provide fully accessible facilities for the exhibition of architecture, design and artistic works by Mackintosh as well as other artists, designers and architects of the time.

·       Provide facilities to promote the life and history of Catherine Cranston, her heritage and business success as a pioneering female entrepreneur.

·       Encourage the public to pursue an interest in all forms of artwork, its relationship with Glasgow’s business and social history, with emphasis on the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Catherine Cranston.

·       Form connections and enter into join ventures with associations with similar objectives to The Willow Tea Rooms Trust nationally and internationally.

·       Act as a catalyst and focal point in the regeneration of Sauchiehall Street and City of Glasgow

The Project Activity Plan 

As part of the HLF application, and in parallel to the capital works, the Trust designed an Activity Plan. Based on extensive research and consultation carried out during the development phase, the Activity Plan will address key audience development and engagement objectives.

 The activity plan focuses on: 

·       The advancement of education through educating the public about the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the history of the property and the role of Catherine Cranston as a key pioneering female entrepreneur in Glasgow.

·       Volunteer recruitment, engagement and skill development;

·       Opportunities for student placements and youth engagement projects;

·       Greater community engagement via events and programming both during the works and after their completion;

·       Developing a schools programme – a minimum of 2500 children per annum.

Progress so far 

The Activity Plan began in September 2017, with the recruitment of a Learning and Education Officer to run the Activity Plan programme during the Development Phase. A Creative Learning and Education Manager was recruited in June 2018 to manage the Activity Programme as per the Activity Plan and is a work in progress.

Principles and plans for our evaluation 

During the development of the project, the set of key principles were agreed on which will underpin about approach that should be taken to the project evaluation. 

    • The evaluation needs to cover the capital works, the activity plan, the Prince’s Trust trainees and the social enterprise activity. Each will have different requirements. The evaluation will need to demonstrate the achievement of the approved purposes and the delivery of the HLF outcomes both of which are show in the tables 1 and 2 below. 

    • The evaluation of the project will need to take a mixed method approach using a combination of qualitative and quantitative data.

    • A wide range of evaluation tools will need to be employed and knitted together. This will need to include traditional methods such as surveys, questionnaires, interviews, photographs but also more innovative approaches such as blogs, diaries, observations, films and videos, workshops or others; 

    • The evaluation needs to include analysis of the impact of the project on the wider, external community too. 

    • A process of continuous assessment and improvement needs to be worked into the project evaluation framework so that the team can monitor that change is occurring as planned, that success can be celebrated, to ensure that enthusiasm and momentum of staff and volunteers is maintained, and finally to enable problems with either the programming or the evaluation systems to be identified early and remedied. This will also enable the Trust to share good practice (and lessons learnt) with external organisations and stakeholders as the project progresses. 


Table 1: HLF approved purposes 

1. Regeneration of Sauchiehall Street

2. Main Works, Exhibition and Furniture Contracts

3. CRM Society Partnership

4. New Learning Audiences

5. New Staff Appointments

6. Establish a Trading Company

7. Fundraising

8. HLF Legal Requirements

9. Permission to Start

10. Publicity Acknowledgement


Table 2: The project will deliver against many of the HLF outcomes as follows: 

1 Heritage will be in a better condition due to the restoration work 

2 Heritage will be better managed due to the work undertaken on the Conservation Management Plan and the Maintenance & Management Plan 

3 Heritage will be better interpreted and explained due to the interpretation and engagement work and programming 

4 Heritage will be identified and recorded through the building recording and archaeological work being undertaken

5 People will be developing skills, learn about heritage, change their attitudes about heritage, volunteer their time and enjoyed their experiences through all the plans in the projects activity plan

6 The local area will be a better place to live, work and visit as Mackintosh at the Willow becomes a more significant visitor attraction in the area

7 The organization will become more resilient as the project is underpinned by a strong business plan, improved income targets, a more appropriate staffing structure and marketing plan

The Willow Tea Rooms Trust routinely collects data from our visitors and monitors the satisfaction and outcomes for specific activities. Volunteer hours are also collected routinely. This will, however, need to be reviewed to see if it remains fit for purpose and in line with the new evaluation framework established for the project. It is anticipated that the methods of evaluation around the main outcome areas will include all of the following: 

Outcomes for heritage - capital works: recording and restoration of the building and landscape 

Building recording & geophysics, photography, filming, annotated plans, updates to Conservation Management Plan and the Maintenance and Management Plan. 

Workshops to collect qualitative evidence of process and quality of outcomes 

Outcomes relating to people, learning & engagement:
Counting of people visiting the site, participating in activities, buying tickets for events or activities via gate counters, ticket sales or on the day counting.

Counting repeat visits where possible.

Counting the number of schools visiting and the number of students per school attending.
Monitoring the demographics of all those attending and any changes achieved in the profile: age, where they come from, gender, BEM. 

Monitoring of people engaging with the Trust through the website, social media.
Qualitative feedback via visitor surveys, one-to-one or group feedback sessions, participant surveys, staff and volunteer observation, feedback and comments left on site or delivered via any form of media. Specific groups such as school or student placements will be asked to complete specific surveys.

Outputs of projects created or recorded via photography, film or digital media.

As volunteers are an important element of our project for delivery and into the future, we will also monitor: 

·     The number of volunteers and volunteer hours, and increase year on year. 

·     The increase in number of volunteers trained in new skills or diversification of volunteer activities. 

·     Change in volunteer age profile, volunteer roles and responsibilities over time. 

·     Volunteer satisfaction. 

Organizational outcomes

·       Partnerships: number and types of new partnerships developed by the Trust and maintained through and beyond the project end.

·       Marketing effectiveness: website hits and organic usage/following/ likes of all social media.
Delivery of business case objectives, implementation of the plans and achievement of stated income targets.

·       Tracking of research papers, lectures, and academic publications.

·       Surveys of local community groups, businesses etc relating to their awareness of The Willow Tea Rooms Trust or any increases in their visitors as a result of the project. 

·       How sustainable are the programmes and relationships built with partner organisations in the longer term? 

·       How sustainable and realistic is the new business plan in securing the financial future of Mackintosh at the Willow?


Section 3: What are we looking for? 

The brief 

The Willow Tea Rooms Trust  (WTRT) is now seeking one or more experienced and creative evaluation consultants who can help set a framework for ongoing evaluation of the project, produce annual reports of our activity enabling us to reflect and review our activities and eventually write the final evaluation report in line with current HLF guidance on evaluation. To do this, the Evaluation Consultant will: 

  • Coordinate and chair an initial meeting with the project team to consult about the aims and objectives of the project and activity and capital programme. 

  • Coordinate and chair planning meetings once a year with key staff including the WTRT Chair, Trustees, Advisory Panel Experts and Executive Director. MAW Managing Director, Creative Learning and Education Manager, the Volunteer Development Officer, the Marketing Officer and any others as thought necessary to review evaluation plans and materials for the following year. Evaluation reviews will ensure that the project is analysed and understood as broadly as possible and that effective evaluation techniques are incorporated into all of the Trust’s public programme work. 

  • Identify indicators for the project and prepare an evaluation plan which is in line with the principles identified above. 

  • Analyse existing data collected to date. 

  • Review all existing evaluation tools used by the Trust and suggest any improvements or changes to fit into the wider framework being proposed for the project. 

  • Whatever is designed has to be capable of delivering on the evaluation criteria specified in the activity plan as set out in the appendix A. 

  • Provide guidelines and support for collecting and storing information. 

  • Be available to support and advise key staff on the evaluation of the project throughout the project. 

  • Collate and analyse all of the evaluation material from the Activity Plan and produce annual interim reports with a final report due in September 2021.

  • Provide Annual Reports in September 2019 and September 2020 outlining progress and emerging impact and a final evaluation report in 2021.

What support The Willow Tea Rooms Trust will give?

Existing data collection processes on site will continue (subject to the consultant’s review) and will be fed to the consultant on a frequency to be determined. This covers things like: visitor numbers, volunteer numbers/hours, social media numbers, school numbers, case studies on the training and development of trainees across the project.

  • The Creative Learning Manager will be responsible for maintaining the project image archive 

  • Key team members (staff and volunteers) will attend meetings with the nominated evaluation consultant and prepare any requested material ahead of each meeting. 

  • Meeting rooms and desk space as required from time to time. 

We are seeking a consultant/s with:

  • Solid and extensive experience in developing and implementing monitoring, evaluation systems and frameworks;

  • Experience of analysing monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment data in order to draw meaningful conclusions and reports; 

  • Excellent IT skills and a working knowledge of systems which would be readily, easily and cheaply integrated into the evaluation plan to support effective and insightful data collection in a range of forms; 

  • Experience in developing innovative opportunities for reflection and learning and a working knowledge of the ‘Inspiring Learning’ framework used for the development of the activity plan; 

Outstanding communication skills with the ability to articulate a vision, strategy or idea clearly and concisely with a vigorous eye for detail; 

  • Experience of working on HLF funded, educational or development projects 

  • Strong report writing, presentation writing and presentation delivery skills; 

  • Ability to self-manage and work as a core part of a team. 

Management and reporting arrangements 

The appointed consultant/s will be contracted by The Willow Tea Rooms Trust. They will report to Jean Sinclair, Executive Director and Jodie Marshall, Creative Learning & Education Manager. 

 Key dates 

  • Start-up meeting: May 2019

  • Review of objectives, existing data collection, production of an evaluation plan: May/June 2019

  • Progress meetings should take place in Mar/Apr 2020, April/May 2021 with the full team to frame and feed into the interim report production. 

  • Support during year 2019/2020, review and production of interim report: report 1 April 2020 

  • Support during year 2020/2021, review and production of Final report: Sept 2021



Please provide a cost breakdown along with your proposal any costs for resources in your budget. Please highlight whether you are VAT registered. 

Confidentiality and Data ownership 

The appointed organisation(s) or individual(s) are required to maintain the confidentiality of all proprietary or privileged information to which they may be party to in the course of the contract and they are expected to work on behalf of The Willow Tea Rooms Trust. All data collected in whatever forms remains the property of The Willow Tea Rooms Trust. 

Section 4: To apply Timetable 

  • Closing date for responses: 12:00, April 30th 2019

  • Interviews: 8thand 9thMay 2019 (tbc)

  • Consultant selected and work begins: Week commencing  May (date tbc)

Responding to the brief 

To respond to this brief, the consultant should provide The Willow Tea Rooms Trust with: 

  • A short methodology statement explaining how the brief requirements stated above will be delivered within the timescale required. This should include an anticipated timetable of activities and key dates. 

  • CV and details of relevant professional experience and skills. Demonstrating any experience of similar HLF funded projects would be desirable. 

  • 2 references from clients of similar work 

  • The extent of professional insurance or indemnity cover 

  • Confirmation of your availability to be interviewed on the dates indicated above. 

Responses of no more than 6 pages of A4 should be emailed for the attention of Jean Sinclair to This email can also be used for any questions in the lead up to submission. All applications received will be acknowledged. Please note that due to limited resources we are unable to give feedback to all applicants. Feedback will of course be available to those that are short listed for interview.  


Arts and Education Manager - Closed

Salary: Circa £25,000 p/a -dependent on experience

Hours: Full time equivalent, with flexibility expected to cover evening and weekend duties and outreach engagements.

Location: 217 Sauchiehall Street

Duration: Full term post

Reports to: CEO Mackintosh at the Willow and The Willow Tea Rooms Trust

Responsible for: Learning & Activity Officer

The Willow Tea Rooms Trust was founded to secure the future of the Tea Rooms at 217 Sauchiehall Street, opened by Miss Catherine Cranston in 1903, and widely recognised as the finest example of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s work in this style. Mackintosh’s design brilliance is evident in the total re-modelling of the building’s exterior envelope, and his treatment of the entire building inside and out as a work of art. Mackintosh’s designs for glass, metal and applied arts created unique interiors of astonishing originality and modernity. The building is set to open in June 2018 trading as ‘Mackintosh at The Willow’, following a £10m exacting restoration of the original Willow Tea Rooms Building on Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street. We’ll be re-opening with 200 covers, split across 4 tea rooms to Mackintosh’s original designs and featuring a state of the Visitor & Exhibition Centre, Retail, Conference Facilities and a dedicated Learning & Education suite that will offer a variety of learning experiences for schools (a minimum of 2500 school children per annum) and other learning audiences.

The Art and Education Manager will develop the existing outline learning offer from an Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Activity Plan, adapting it as necessary, while raising awareness of the project to potential learning audiences, and in parallel, delivering outreach learning by giving talks, presentations and workshops to community groups, in early years settings, to adult learners, in formal and informal learning settings, and on demand as required.

The post will include management of, and be supported by, the Learning & Activity Officer. Some learning delivery will be undertaken by the Learning & Activity Officer, while administration, bookings for the learning suite, co-ordination with colleagues in the operational Tea Rooms and exhibition, and with volunteers in various roles within the buildings, will be shared responsibilities.

This role will suit a professional with a passion for Heritage Learning with experience of developing and sustaining creative and learning programmes for a variety of audiences; of delivering in museum-type education settings as well as outreach in community and other settings; of working in multi-disciplinary environments and collaboratively with colleagues, will find this a thrilling opportunity to exercise their talents!

Overall job purpose: Development of a comprehensive Mackintosh at the Willow learning programme, promoting and delivering high quality learning and outreach to a variety of diverse audiences.

Key result areas

· Develop a school learning programme, based on the sample lesson plans in the Activity Plan, for Mackintosh at the Willow prior to the opening in summer 2018, and a complementary outreach offer.

· Procure the equipment and materials specified in the Activity plan budget for the first phase of learning activity: outreach to different learning audiences and for the opening of the Learning Suite.

· Manage the workload of, maintain positive communication with, and support the Learning & Activity Officer.

· Ensure that there is administrative and workload balance between outreach, and on-site learning suite formal education delivery between the Officer and Manager.

· Promote the Mackintosh at the Willow learning offer to schools and other learning groups, from the learning offer at the learning suite and outreach offer of talks, presentations and workshops.

· Work closely with the learning outreach team at Glasgow School of Art to programme their uses of the learning suite in evenings and weekends.

· Plan and promote the cultural programme for Mackintosh at the Willow, a programme of occasional talks for adult learners and special interest groups.

· In collaboration with management and colleagues, ensure consistency of audience/customer data collection and recording, plan systems for monitoring learning audience numbers, as well as for gathering qualitative data on experiences allied to the targets and measures of success specified in the action planning grid in the Activity Plan. Consider the use of tablets for gathering feedback from different audiences.

· In collaboration with management  and colleagues, agree systems for booking the learning suite, and charging for education visits.

· Devise a system for storing the gathered feedback, consistent with other audience data collection and analysis by colleagues.

· Devise a parallel system for periodic review of the learning offer; potentially by gathering a teacher panel representing different sectors such as early years, primary, secondary and ASN learners, and arranging for review and planning meetings with this group.

· Monitor Activity Plan targets and report, with colleagues as required, according to HLF requirements.

Skills and experience: necessary

· A degree or equivalent level qualification, in an appropriate discipline such as architecture, design and manufacture, art, primary education or community education, at degree or post graduate level such as a B Ed, PGCE/PGDE.

· Experience of learning delivery in a variety of settings, and to a variety of learning audiences.

· Successful multidisciplinary team working.

· Procuring educational, arts and crafts or museum standard resource equipment and supplies.

Skills and experience: desirable

· Delivery of an Activity Plan on an HLF funded project, and aware of the requirements for delivery of an Action Planning grid, achieving targets, monitoring and evaluating activity, and reporting conventions.

· Sensitive management of a junior colleague.

Personal qualities:

· Good communicator.

· Passionate, enthusiastic, awareness and knowledge of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Margaret Macdonald and Catherine Cranston.

· Organised, systematic and methodical, flexible and adaptable.

This role is supported by Heritage Lottery Funding. 

Email your cv and application to:  

Closing date: 15 June 2018

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