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Barra Culture, Barrow Creative People & Places

Responsible to: The Senior Officer, Women’s Community Matters, Accountable Body
Responsible for: Community Engagement Officer, Finance & Data Co-ordinator, Marketing, Evaluation and Learning and Co-ordinator
Contract: Salaried, Full time, fixed-term until 31st October 2023
Salary: £40-45k (dependent on experience)
Place of Work: The position will be based in the office of Women’s Community Matters, within the Nan Tait Centre, Abbey Road, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria LA14 1LG
Working pattern: Some unsocial hours including evenings and weekends.


Barra Culture is looking to appoint an exceptional individual, a well-connected creative leader to be an integral part of the cultural change in Barrow-in-Furness. Barra Culture is one of 12 Creative People and Places (CPP) projects recently awarded funding by Arts Council England with the aim of increasing participation in the arts, particularly amongst those least involved.

Those in Barrow who already engage in the arts are absolutely passionate about it, but currently the town lacks the range of opportunities for participation that people in cities and more affluent towns take for granted. Residents in Barrow face significant barriers to taking part and the level of participation in the cultural activity that does take place is amongst the lowest in the country.

This exciting, once-in-a-generation programme aims to transform the cultural landscape and infrastructure in our geographically remote but creative and proud town. The four-year intervention will spark aspiration and pride across the local populace, taking our residents on a journey to explore and celebrate their sense of selves in collaboration with established world class, exciting and innovative new artistic talent.

The post

As Programme Director you will lead in the management of projects across the wider artistic programme, building on the framework outlined in the Barra Culture CPP application document. Working in collaboration with communities in Barrow's five most deprived wards (Hindpool, Ormsgill, Central, Barrow Island and Walney), Barra Culture's expected outcomes include a programme of ambitious artists' residencies, commissions, workshops and events that will culminate in a large scale celebratory festival in Barrow's town centre. The programme will place emphasis on working with artists, makers, and partner organisations who can help us to develop and explore ground-breaking models of practice in engagement; models that are radical, sustainable outward looking, and with international links. Using the power of the arts to delve into the issues and conversations that preoccupy residents, your goal is to get them excited, enthused and dedicated to arts and culture as both makers and consumers - a key goal is to boost participation to half the population.

Your role will also include working in partnership with our research team to devise and pilot innovative tools for engaging deprived and isolated communities with the arts and finding fresh ways to collect, disseminate and spread our learning.  

You will be a leader able to influence and instigate long term change in Barrow, leaving a long-lasting cultural legacy for future generations.  You will be able to work across the arts, public and private sector, have a well-founded knowledge of artists working across the UK and internationally today, be driven by diversity and have a passion for involving communities in the creation and curation of their own distinctive Barrovian cultural offer.  

This role provides the opportunity to use your creative and business skills to their full capacity.  We are seeking a Programme Director who can see the enormous potential that exists in Barrow, and who is able to translate this to the local population. This may be your first Director role but you will have the vision and proven experience of making change happen.

Key purpose of the role

  • To provide leadership of the Barra Culture CPP programme.
  • To develop and manage the implementation of the programme with creativity and commitment to Barra Culture’s aims and objectives.
  • To fundraise for the required match funding for the programme and staffing.
  • To develop key partnerships in Barrow and beyond that will support the sustainability of the programme and the Barrow arts ecology.

Application process

Please download the job application pack and job description below

Your application should comprise:

  • A letter of application setting out why you are applying and your interest in the job and how your skills and experience match the job description and person specification (maximum 1,000 words).
  • Please include two employment referees, one being your most recent or current employer.
  • Your CV.

Application submission to: Rebecca Rawlings, Senior Officer, Women’s Community Matters at jobs@womenscommunitymatters.org

Closing Date: 5pm, 15th December 2019
Interviews: Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th January 2020
Anticipated start date: Monday 17th February 2020

Additional Information

Any offer of employment will be conditional on completion of an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.  As an organisation using the DBS checking service to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, Barra Culture, through Women’s Community Matters, complies fully with the Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants fairly. It undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a DBS check on the basis of conviction or other information revealed. Having a criminal record will not automatically exclude you from working for our organisation.  Please contact us to ask for a copy of our policy relating to this or for more information.

Declaration of Interest

All applications for this post must be submitted on the basis that the information contained therein will be correct to the best of the applicant’s knowledge.  If any particulars given by an applicant are found to be false, or if you wilfully omit or supress any material facts, you will, if appointed, be liable to dismissal.  Any canvassing, direct or indirect, for appointments or contacts with the organisation is strictly prohibited and will disqualify applicants.

By submitting an application, each applicant confirms that the information given is correct and complete, and that any misleading statements may be sufficient to cancel any employment agreements made.  Because of the nature of the duties that the post holder will be expected to undertake, applicants must understand that details of any criminal convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings, and any other information may have a bearing on the applicant’s suitability for the post.

Finally, it will be understood that an Enhanced Disclosure will be sought in the event of a successful application for the post and therefore you will be required to give details of spent and unspent convictions.

For an informal chat about the post please contact as follows:

Rebecca Rawlings – rebecca@womenscommunitymatters.org 01229 311102

Maddi Nicholson – maddi.nicholson@art-gene.co.uk 01229 825085

If you require this application in an alternative format please let us know.