Mather & Co is a design consultancy that specialises in visitor attraction, exhibition & museum design. Its expansive portfolio includes the National Football Museum, St Albans Cathedral and Coronation Street: The Tour, to name but a few.
Sarah Clarke, Managing Director at Mather & Co, takes us through a week in her working life…
My alarm goes off at 6.30am, and I make myself a quick breakfast and coffee to go. I get to our Wilmslow office at 8.00am, where I start planning for the week ahead – it’s going to be a busy one! After sorting through my emails, I draft one to all Mather & Co staff to list the priorities and staff movements for the week. As we work with clients all over the country, as well as internationally, our team are rarely all in the same place at once, so it’s important to make sure everyone is on the same page.
At the moment we’re working on feasibility projects for The National Trust for Scotland. We’ve done a few projects for The National Trust in the past, and this time, we’re investigating ways to improve its sites for visitors and commercial use. We’ve got a lot of experience in improving visitor offers so we’re not afraid of a challenge!
The train to work may be packed as usual, but it’s the perfect opportunity to catch up on my emails and get a headstart on the day before I get to the office. After a morning spent in the office working on employee reviews, I head over to Wakefield to do a site visit to The National Coal Mining Museum, a newly-won client.
We’ve got a really exciting project on the horizon at the museum – named ‘The Illumination Gallery’, it’s all about the invention and history of the fire safety mining lamp. One of the main objectives is to develop new STEM activities for learners and to boost the number of educational visits, using an immersive exhibition and learning space. At the moment, it’s still in the research stages of the project, so we have a productive discussion about our plans for the space and how our museum designers can bring it to life.
Another early start as we’re up against a few deadlines this week. In the afternoon, I get the train down to Milton Keynes to visit the world-famous Silverstone site. This autumn, The Silverstone Experience will be opening – a project that we have been working very hard on and can’t wait to unveil to the public! It will educate visitors through interactive displays and cutting-edge technology, telling the captivating stories behind the famous track.
The attraction will bring the extensive heritage of the country’s only licensed Formula 1 circuit to life – the exhibition is very animated and interactive, so we’re looking forward to seeing how visitors will engage with it. The project is also going to bring a range of opportunities to young people in the local area, which is a huge bonus.
Back at the office, we’re having a bit of a makeover! Building work has been going on both inside and outside but it’s really taking shape. We’ve worked on some amazing projects over the past few months that we’re incredibly proud of, so we’re getting some pictures of our highlights put up in the boardroom.
I hit the gym bright and early! My day at the office kicks off with a full team project meeting. All of the Mather & Co staff gather to go through our current and prospective projects to see where everything is up to, before going through our marketing strategy and general office management – there’s so much going on at the minute, these meetings make sure that everyone has a clear overview of the business as a whole.
In the afternoon, I have a meeting with the AV software suppliers for the W5 Science Centre in Belfast, a project that we won earlier this year. It’s a £1.85m project that aims to position the centre as a world-class science and discovery centre, so we’ve got some exciting plans for it!
I arrive back in the office by late afternoon to catch up on work, finally clocking out at 7.30pm. It’s been a long day but a very productive one!
It’s a slight change of pace today to the rest of the week as I attend a directors’ dinner, which is where all of the directors in the industry come together to discuss current affairs that might have an impact – of course, Brexit is on everyone’s lips at the minute – as well as potential partnerships with each other. I always enjoy catching up with previous clients of ours and hearing about their successes, as well as meeting new faces. Although digital communication is quick and convenient, there’s nothing quite like meeting people face-to-face, so I like to network whenever possible.
We end the week with post-work drinks to welcome our two new team members to the Mather & Co team and to celebrate a productive, successful week – cheers!