ZSL Estates Transformation Director




ZSL is seeking to appoint an Estates Transformation Director. We’re ZSL - an international conservation charity driven by science, working to restore wildlife in the UK and around the world by protecting critical species, restoring ecosystems, helping people and wildlife live together and inspiring support for nature. We run two conservation zoos – London and Whipsnade, we are doing conservation in over sixty countries, and we are at the leading edge of conservation biology through our Institute of Zoology. As we approach our 200th anniversary in 2026, we have developed a vision for how ZSL will lead that journey and make conservation more effective. A key part of that is our ambition for our estate. We want to cre- ate a biodiversity and nature campus, in partnership with universities and others; a new home for our own science and conservation work; a centre for native species recovery; and new accommodation offers on both sites. These plans represent a root-and branch rethink of what a 21st century sci- entific Zoo should and could be and sets a strategic direction of travel for ZSL that will enable us to use our considerable physical assets much more effectively to achieve our goals. We are seeking an individual with proven experience of leading the stra- tegic development and masterplanning stages of major estates devel- opment projects. You will have a high degree of commercial acumen and will be adept at working with a diverse range of potential de- velopment partners to enable realisation of viable and successful projects. A genuine passion and affinity for the work of ZSL is essential to be a success in the role.

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Executive Summary About Us The Masterplan Job Description Person Specfication Working at ZSL How to Apply




We're ZSL - an international conservation charity driven by science, working to restore wildlife in the UK and around the world by protect- ing critical species, restoring ecosystems, helping people and wildlife live together and inspiring support for nature. We’ve been building stronger connections to wildlife for 200 years. Through our leading Zoos, our innovative conservation work in the field and through the Institute of Zoology, a centre of research excel- lence, we are passionate advocates for nature and won't stop until we have created a world where wildlife thrives. Climate change and human activity have pushed our precious planet to its limit causing devastating habitat and species loss. When nature loses, we all do. Urgent action to help people and wildlife live better together, is the only way to save the natural world we love and depend upon. We be- lieve nature can recover - that’s where ZSL comes in, and where you can play your part.

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London Zoo will be recast as a ‘wildlife campus’, recapturing a true sense of destination that at- tracts and inspires visitors from all over the world and the UK. The design seeks to maximise the site’s unique opportunities and overarching regeneration potential, to create a visionary and sustainable framework for the future. A transformed landscape puts animals first in complex mixed species habitats that mimic their natural biogeographical zones. Historic listed structures will be reimagined and repurposed as visitor destinations that elevate the Zoo experience. A new memorable entrance LONDON ZOO

square is envisioned to the north east corner, creating a more prominent and generous welcome to the Zoo. Barclay Court will become the first im- pression, with an active cluster of buildings offering a renewed level of intensity. There is scope for extended opening hours and evening events here, creating a true destination for London. The ambition is to consolidate conservation, science, veterinary and wildlife health facilities in an Institute of Biodiversity Campus. Here, science, veterinary and wildlife health services will go on display, offering glimpses of the many activities that current- ly happen behind the scenes.

Additional commercial buildings, as part of a Conservation Tech Quarter/Multi-University Hub, can offer partnership oppor- tunities with educational, tech and life- science operators right on the doorstep of London’s Knowledge Quarter. A diversified commercial mix will attract new audiences and providing a more sustainable, stable and diversified income to support ZSL’s global conser- vation mission. Proposed along- side the new workspaces are a wider range of accommoda- tion options, enabling students, researchers and visitors alike to stay longer and engage with ZSL on a deeper level.


THE ZSL VISION ZSL is a global science-led conservation charity helping people and wildlife live better together, to restore the wonder and diversi- ty of life everywhere. Through our leading Zoos, we bring people closer to nature in shared spaces of wonder and unique cen- tres of learning, advancing knowledge to better protect wildlife today, while inspiring a lifelong love of animals in the conservation- ists of tomorrow. As we approach our 200th anniversary in 2026, we have developed a 10-20 year vision for how ZSL will lead that journey of global recovery for wildlife and biodiversity. A key part of that is our framework plans for our two UK centres of excel- lence: ZSL Regent’s Park and ZSL Whipsnade. The framework plans represent a root-and- branch rethink of what a 21st century scientific Zoo should and could be, and sets a strategic direction of travel for ZSL that will enable us to use our considerable physical assets much more effectively to achieve our goals. A mix of projects will combine to strengthen ZSL’s offering and amplify our impact as a global con- servation organisation and centre of excellence in wildlife science and conservation. At the future Zoo, the visitor will be invited to engage more vividly and deeply with wildlife, and learn about the work that ZSL does in-situ through immersive digital interventions. The framework plans are

not a ‘finished product’ to be delivered as illus- trated, but rather as a broad direction of travel, allowing for different individual projects to evolve over time. Each of the projects will require further detailed design, planning approval and public consultation as part of its realisation. The plans identify opportunities for consolidation of uses as well as repurposing and restructuring of the Zoos’ sites. New opportunities for infra- structure and the built environment are highlight- ed, as well as the potential to reuse buildings that are unused, underused or not fit for purpose. Many of the unused ‘legacy’ buildings no longer meet animal husbandry welfare standards, and could become spaces for people instead. Often, facilities are scattered across the site, and there is an opportunity to bring these together in pur- pose built and more efficient buildings or clusters of buildings. The scale of the vision at both Zoos is signifi- cant, and changes will take place over several decades. It is therefore important to allow for sufficient flexibility in the plans to ensure that they can withstand the test of time, and adapt with changing needs and regulations, market forces and financial realities. In this context, the plans provide the backbones of the place, with options and variables possible for many of the buildings and sites across the two Zoos.



Snowdon Aviary

Conservation TechQuarter/ Multi-University Hub

New Entrance

ZSL Institute ofBiodiversity

Asian Forest

African Forest

Mappin Terraces

Casson Pavilion

African Savannah



Whipsnade Zoo is a vast rural site. By ampli- fying and wilding the site’s natural features, we can create a more stimulating and au- thentic environment for the animals, and a more adventurous and exciting Zoo for visi- tors to explore. Distinct landscape character areas will differentiate between key zones, to create variety on the journey. Access and distance is one of the major challenges at Whipsnade Zoo, and net- works of site-wide trails and routes com- bined with a choice of sustainable transport modes will open up the site for all visitor groups independent of mobility and capaci- ty. The ambition is to immerse the visitor in nature and wildlife from the point of arrival. The entrance journey will be redirected via the ancient woodland, guiding the visitor to

the centre of activity - the Whipsnade Zoo hub which will offer a range of activities. The existing elephant enclosure is proposed to be expand- ed with an herd to up to 30 individuals within an extended enclosure. Several watering holes across the site will become a focal point where the animals will naturally gravitate, encouraging play and movement. Other early projects will be a UK conservation and breeding centre, a macaques Monkey For- est and a solar farm that will produce on-site re- newable energy for ZSL’s operations. The over- night stay offer will be expanded with a range of different short term staying options: a cluster of guest houses with serviced rooms as well as cabins and treehouses, presenting a unique opportunity to stay with the animals. As we introduce more options for moving around, parts of the site that are currently out of sight and out of mind can offer a more wild and off-track Zoo experience for the intrepid visitor, with opportunities to stay overnight, sleep under the stars and safari after nightfall.




JOB TITLE: ESTATES TRANSFORMATION DIRECTOR RESPONSIBLE TO: DG RESPONSIBLE FOR: ESTATE TRANSFORMATION TEAM Purpose of the role The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is transforming the London and Whipsnade sites as part a masterplan process that will set the strategic di- rection for the organisation over next 10-20 years. This is an exciting time for ZSL, and we are seeking an Es- tates Transformation Director to lead on the implementation of the master- plan. The masterplan is fundamental to ZSL – it needs to create a strong, viable, lasting platform for our sci- ence, conservation, policy leadership and education for the next fifty years and beyond. This role requires a dynamic, creative, commercial and collaborative ap- proach to deliver the various master- plan components in partnership with developers, investors, and funding bodies. The proposals encompass a mix of projects that will combine to strengthen ZSL’s offering and impact: the creation of major new facilities; upgrade of existing assets; transfor- mation of habitats; visitor focused pro- jects and interventions; commercial developments; operational projects; and listed buildings restoration and considerations. This role will also lead renewable energy projects to mini- mise our power and water consump- tion, waste disposal bills and carbon footprint.

About the role As the lead for the implementation of the masterplan, you will take the programme from broad concept to delivery. You will work up the best possible options for the major elements of the programme through negotiation with potential partners and contractors, and secure agreement from key stakeholders inside and outside the organisation. You will then be re- sponsible for leading the planning application process, procurement and delivery of the pro- jects, at both the London and Whipsnade sites. This will require involvement in all stages of projects, from concept and initial feasibility studies and negotiations with partners, through RIBA design stages and planning applications, to construction and practical completion, and handover to the Estates Management Team. You will coordinate and sequence the mas- terplan projects, own the business cases, and manage with a multi-million-pound budget, reporting back to the DG, Executive sponsors and Council. Main duties and responsibilities • Provide leadership for the development and implementation of the ZSL masterplan for our London and Whipsnade sites, which are to be rolled out over the next 10-20 years. • Develop options for the key elements of the Masterplan, including the London Zoo Biome, accommodation at Whipsnade Zoo, and the Biodiversity Institute and Campus. • Develop options for commercial partner- ships and joint venture opportunities. • Work in close relationship with the Direc- tor General and Chief Financial Officer to develop and implement a masterplan business case, and reporting on project progress against development appraisal objectives.

• Preparation of forecasts and progress re- ports and identifying opportunities for value engineering and cost saving. • Formulate and finalise Development Briefs for the masterplan projects, in conversation with key ZSL internal stakeholders, (includ- ing ExCo) and in line with the business case. • Prepare and maintain a development pro- gramme for the masterplan and individual projects. • Work across multiple development plots and workstreams with the wider ZSL team and its appointed consultants. • Liaison with the local planning authorities and statutory consultees, manage planning applications and planning and contractual approvals in accordance with project time- lines • Manage the securing of commercial inves- tors and/or tenants. • Assist with the project marketing and man- aging project coordination meetings with internal and external stakeholders, includ- ing the ZSL Executive Team and staff, trus- tees, local authorities, landlords, funders, partners, the Royal Parks, advisors and other stakeholders. • Create an integrated major projects pipe- line and improvement of our major projects practice and processes. • Coordinate with internal teams such as the finance, marketing, estate and legal depart- ments. • Appoint, lead and coordinate the profes- sional team, and manage the design de- velopment process through regular team meetings and design workshops. • Monitor the quality and cost effectiveness of services provided by the teams to ensure high standards and value for money and compliance with ZSL procurement policies.





Our values underpin everything we do. As a leader and manager, you have an important job in setting the behavioural standards for every- one across the society through role modelling and encouraging positive behaviours: COLLABORATIVE we bring people together to share expertise ETHICAL we make the right choices IMPACTFUL we focus on activities that make a positive difference INCLUSIVE we value our differences and foster belonging INNOVATIVE we find new ways to solve problems INSPIRING we encourage people to take positive action


colleagues and teams across various disciplines and locations, able to influence, engage and constructively challenge at the strategic level. • Communication skills, with the proven ability to effectively engage a range of stakeholders and partners and clearly convey complex issues with clear and insightful recommendations. KNOWLEDGE Essential: • Understanding of property legals, including lease agree- ments, joint ventures and build contracts. Desirable: • Appreciation of operating in a visitor attraction or other similar organisation.

• Experience of producing preliminary develop- ment appraisals for optioneering, managing budgets and identifying opportunities for cost savings. • Track record of managing complex internal and external stakeholder groups, including statutory consultees and the wider public. • Proven experience in contract management and negotiation and awareness of key con- tract requirements, SLAs and key performance indicator measurements. Desirable: • Membership of an appropriate recognised professional body SKILLS & ABILITIES Essential: • Negotiation and influencing skills. • Leadership skills with the ability to motivate, inspire and support ZSL’s shared mission, vision and values. • Ability to work collaboratively with senior

• Educated to BSc degree, ideally in a property related field – property development, real es- tate, construction management, or similar. • Development management experience, work- ing on complex mixed-use masterplan, ideally in the context of listed buildings, conservation areas and protected landscapes. • Experience of successfully working on the design, planning, and delivery of substantial estate projects to programme and budget. • Experience of working with funders, partners, and investors, with an ability to explore oppor- tunities with potential partners. • Experience of producing sound business cas- es for development projects and reporting on progress to Executive sponsors and appropri- ate Boards. • Track record of negotiating with planning au- thorities and securing planning permission for complex developments.



WORKING AT ZSL “WORK YOUR WAY” We empower people to work from where they work best. We believe work is some- thing we do and not a place we go. Our offices have become important places for collaboration and social connection but are no longer our main place of work. Throughout your ZSL career, you'll have access to a blended program of Wellbeing initiatives, including confidential access to our 24/7 Employee Assistance Programme as well as regular webinars and activities around mental, physical, social and finan- cial wellbeing. The opportunity to be part of an organisation that is committed to improving diversity and inclusion. Other benefits for our UK-based staff include: • 25 days paid annual leave • Life assurance

• A generous stakeholder pension (em- ployer contribution is matched up to 12%) • A regular allocation of complimentary zoo tickets • 30% discount in our shops and online • A subsidised canteen offering a vari- ety of delicious light and more hearty meals • Enhanced paternity and maternity leave • Season ticket loan • Cycle to work scheme • Subsidised gym membership • Access to a wide range of learning and development opportunities, and ZSL's historic library. Ultimately, by choosing to join us in any role, you’ll be helping us to inspire, inform and empower people, and to stop wildlife going extinct.



HOW TO APPLY For a confidential discussion to learn more about the role and opportuni- ty, please contact ZSL’s appointed recruitment partners Ben Duffill and Nicholas Coppard of The Manage- ment Recruitment Group. Ben Duffill, Managing Director ben.duffill@mrgepople.co.uk m: 07976 125 010 | t: 020 3962 9900 Nicholas Coppard, Business Director nicholas.coppard@mrgpeople.co.uk m: 07896 079 495 | t: 020 3962 9900 Applications should consist of a CV and covering letter and should be sent to: nicholas.coppard@mrgpeople.co.uk Closing date for applications is Sunday 19th March 2023.


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