Conference Centre Manager

Working at Buckfast Abbey

Job Title: - Conference Centre Manager

Location:                  Buckfast, Devon

Hours of work:       Hours required to undertake the role, 

                                     including some weekends and evenings. 

Salary:                      £33,600 per annum  

Reporting to:          Chief Operating Officer 

Key relationships:  Visitor Experience Manager, 

                                     Northgate House & Accommodation Manager, Executive Head Chef  

To apply:                   Please submit your CV to


Located at the centre of a picturesque valley on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, Buckfast Abbey is home to a community of Roman Catholic Benedictine Monks, who live their lives of prayer, work, and study according to the ancient rule of St Benedict. 

The heart of our site is the Abbey Church and Monastery – the place in which the Monastic Community lives and prays at various times throughout the day. Our site is historic – the original Abbey being founded in 1018 AD. 

Today, our site is a flourishing complex of buildings which the monks have continually developed to aid them in realising their vision for Buckfast - to be a national centre of witness to God, and the Roman Catholic faith. To that end, the community places a great value upon hospitality, and welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. 

Our site includes beautiful gardens, a restaurant, multiple retail outlets, a conference centre, and a broad range of guest accommodation. To aid them in operating and maintaining the site, the community employs over a hundred members of staff, and offers a variety of interesting and rewarding career opportunities.


A warm and welcoming hospitality is at the heart of what we offer as a Roman Catholic Benedictine Community. We are dedicated to delivering excellence in our hospitality to visitors. We provide our customers with the highest quality service and value. Our enthusiastic team provides a unique and memorable experience. We are passionate about exceeding our guests’ expectations. 

Role purpose

This role will be responsible for management of the Conference Centre. The core purpose will be to ensure that the Conference Centre runs smoothly, delivers excellent guest / visitor experience, and maximise income generation. Whilst this role will be based at the Conference Centre, all staff working in Hospitality are required to assist in our other Hospitality venues when the need arises. 

Main Responsibilities

This job description is intended to provide an outline of the key tasks and responsibilities only. There may be other duties reasonably requested of the post holder

  • Leading and managing the effective operation of the Conference Centre.
  • Ensure that staff within the area of responsibility are properly trained, qualified, developed and supported in their work. 
  • To manage the organisation of Conference centre events, logistical processes and co-ordination of all service providers (internal & external) involved to a high standard which encourages repeat business.
  • To assist the Finance team in setting the future budgets, monitoring income and expenditure against budget, promptly reporting and taking action on variances identified. 
  • To identify opportunities for financial growth. 
  • To develop and implement standard operating procedures to support a best practice model.
  • To develop and implement standards for customer service.
  • To create reports for the Leadership Team and Trustees, as required.
  • To ensure customer complaints are resolved discreetly and efficiently. 
  • Working with the Executive Head Chef, to ensure all operations are conducted according to appropriate food safety policies and procedures including risk assessments and training all staff in these areas. 
  • Liaise with the Visitor Experience Manager to seek regular feedback about the offer, and collaborate on any events that The Grange/Northgate House are hosting 
  • Liaise with the licensee, as required.
  • Maintain a constant awareness of security especially related to any cash, payments, stock and    equipment and to ensure all department procedures are fully adhered to.

Person Specification – Skills, Personal Qualities and Requirements 

  • Formal Qualification in hospitality or similar relevant field / or having worked within hospitality at a managerial or supervisory level for a minimum of 4 years, with proven successful operational experience.
  • Previous experience of managing functions and events. 
  • Flexible approach to running events and the ability to meet the clients demands to tight time frames.
  • Experience of working in a seasonal operation and dealing with a busy footfall in peak times. 
  • Knowledge of the best practice models for strong customer service, with a proven track record   of excellent customer service and a passion for the same.
  • Handling complaints and liaising with customers.
  • Advanced IT skills with excellent administration. 
  • Experience of people management, particularly through periods of change.
  • Knowledge of health and safety procedures / licensing laws.
  • Knowledge of food hygiene laws.
  • Excellent communication, relationship building and interpersonal skills.
  • Proven leadership ability with the ability to inspire confidence and lead a team of people at all levels.
  • Experience of managing a budget.
  • Polished and well presented at all times.
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities with strong organisational skills.
  • Attention to detail, hands-on ‘can do’ mentality.

To apply:                  Please submit your CV to

Download an application form here

Please send it to: 

HR Department
Buckfast Abbey