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Barra Culture, Women's Community Matters

BARRA CULTURE - Programme Director


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 town, the people, Barrovians are a proud and strong community, welcoming people from all around the world as part of the shipyard, off shore windfarms and teaching hospital. It is an exciting vibrant time for Barrow, it’s a unique place to live, work and play.

The post

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.

The job offers immense scope in an already established creative environment in the town. Barrow’s four established creative organisations, each with celebrated engagement track records, will actively support you in your role to develop the programme, aid innovative thinking and achieve the outcomes of the Barra Culture Programme.

A successful legacy for Barra Culture would be the support and development of the arts companies, local artists and practitioners on the ground, who deeply understand the uniqueness of this place, are committed to Barrow and will be working here with these communities beyond the period of this investment.

Barra Culture has received £1.93 million from Arts Council England over a four-year period, with a match-funding requirement, and therefore a minimum fundraising target, of a further £700K.

Barrow is a stimulating town with a strong, distinctive commitment to culture and this is an exciting time for the right person to be leading a change-making programme like Barra Culture.

Key terms and conditions

1. Eligibility

Applicants must have the right to work in the UK.
All appointments are subject to a Disclosure & Barring Service check (DBS).

2. 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.

3. Main responsibilities of the post

The post-holder will:

  • Facilitate a strong creative offer for Barra Culture through establishing programme strands that offer great new creative and cultural experiences with, by and for the people of Barrow.
  • Be instrumental in developing the new Business Plan.
  • Implement the new Business Plan, particularly developing and updating audience targets and wider objectives, and taking a lead in developing Barra Culture alongside and together with arts activities that already take place in the town.
  • Build strategic partnerships with a wide range of significant stakeholders across the arts, cultural, charitable, public, private and statutory sectors to secure sustainable strategic and financial support and widen the creative offer in Barrow.
  • Work with, and in support of the current and developing arts infrastructure and local artists, to ensure a stronger arts ecology as a legacy for the CPP.
  • Lead on developing strategies for raising and securing partnership funding from earned income, business, Trusts and Foundations and other public avenues.
  • Build environmental sustainability into the programmes activities.
  • Oversee and contribute to developing strong working relationships with local, national and international artists and arts organisations.
  • Develop and contribute to strong working relationships with community leaders and community groups in Barrow.
  • Implement an effective monitoring, evaluation and research strategy for the duration of the programme.
  • Lead on the relationship with Arts Council England with responsibility for ensuring that the programme meets the delivery and reporting conditions required in an accurate and timely manner.
  • Lead on the relationship with Women’s Community Matters and the Consortium and play an active part in cultural regeneration forums and other Town Centre initiatives.
  • Develop new and grow existing audiences for creative projects and events using your staff team to achieve this.
  • Work collaboratively with the CPP network nationally and internationally, identifying opportunities for joint commissioning, touring, and information exchange.
  • Recruit and manage project staff, volunteers and freelancers, ensuring that adequate supervision, support and training is provided.
  • Working with local residents and local arts partners to ensure that learning from the programme is captured and shared, both locally and as part of the national CPP programme.
  • Manage project budgets, and work alongside Women’s Community Matters to monitor budgets, management accounts and cashflow.
  • Take overall responsibility for ensuring that all programme activity complies with current legislation including (but not restricted to) Equality, Health & Safety, Safeguarding and insurances.
  • Ensure the Consortium has quarterly meetings and appropriate reporting is provided and that they are able to engage actively with the programme.
  • Represent the project externally through speaking engagements and participation in local and national forums.
  • Any other duties as may reasonably be expected for the effective performance of the job.

4. Person specification

  • Four years’ management experience at senior level in an arts or cultural organisation.
  • Proven experience of directly working with hard to reach communities to develop and deliver a bold, creative programme or overseeing this activity within a previous post.
  • Proven ability to develop and manage successful stakeholder relationships and complex partnerships.
  • An in-depth understanding of and commitment to audience engagement including experience of delivering outstanding participatory projects.
  • Proven ability to raise large scale funds from a variety of sources and to develop and implement fundraising strategies.
  • Experience of and an excellent understanding of the development of marketing and audience development strategies, even if you have not led these yourself.
  • Excellent financial planning and management skills with experience of managing large project budgets.
  • Demonstration of sound and entrepreneurial business acumen that will grow sustainable income streams.
  • Experience and understanding of monitoring and evaluation processes including effective data collection, analysis and reporting.
  • Proven commitment to equality of opportunity in the delivery of arts and cultural projects and proven understanding of ACE’s Creative Case for Diversity.
  • Ability to line manage and coordinate project teams including both salaried, freelance, partners and volunteers.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills along with the ability to inspire others in a variety of settings.
  • Understanding and experience of action research projects preferably in an arts or cultural context.
  • Knowledge of UK and international arts landscape – professional networks, artists and organisations.
  • Up to date knowledge of arts and culture policy.

5. Terms

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.
Probationary Period: 6 months.
Benefits: 6% employer contribution to pension.
Holidays: 31 days p.a. including Statutory Bank Holidays.

6. Your application should comprise of:

i) A letter of application setting out why you are applying, your interest in the position, and how your skills and experience match the job description and person specification (maximum 1,000 words)
ii) Details of 2 referees, one being your current or most recent employer
iii) Your Curriculum Vitae

For an informal chat about the post please contact as follows:
Rebecca Robson – rebecca@womenscommunitymatters.org     01229 311102
Maddi Nicholson – maddi.nicholson@art-gene.co.uk         01229 825085

Please read the details of how to apply carefully and ensure all the documents required for your application arrive by the closing date of 30th August 2020, 5pm to the email address jobs@womenscommunitymatters.org.
Interviews will take place on 10th September 2020.

Visit Barra Culture website