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Durham County Council

Durham County Council’s Culture Service is seeking a new member for our senior team. Unified by a strong sense of place, our cultural programmes, festivals and events have authentic roots from brass bands and our industrial past, to our strong religious and political history, and breath-taking landscapes. Our service looks after key cultural programmes, and venues including theatres, museums, libraries and archives as well as festivals and events including Lumiere, Brass and Durham Book Festival. Our goal is to improve cultural access and through creativity develop empowered communities with growing civic pride and greater wellbeing.

To help us achieve this we’re seeking an experienced Festivals, Events and Cultural Engagement Manager who will lead on our countywide festivals, events and cultural engagement programmes. You will oversee delivery of our NPO festivals programme including Durham Brass, Durham Book Festival and the iconic light art biennial, Lumiere, as well our established Food Festivals at Bishop Auckland and Seaham.  You will also oversee and bring your creative vision to our cultural engagement programme ensuring an aligned approach to programme development and collaborative working across our network of organisations, partners and creative practitioners to encourage the growth of independent programmes and activity across County Durham.
We’re looking for a highly motivated individual with significant experience of cultural events and the community arts sector who is passionate about widening access and reaching new and diverse audiences. You’ll have excellent planning and organisational skills matched with creative flair. Bringing fresh thinking and innovative creative approaches, you’ll be an engaging communicator able to build and maintain productive partnerships with key stakeholders, the community and the wider cultural sector.
We encourage you to contact Sarah Glynn (Strategic Manager, Culture) via email at sarah.glynn@durham.gov.uk  to arrange an informal discussion about the role.

Degree level or equivalent experience in  relevant disciplines

Please refer to the attached person specification for the full criteria.

This post is not open to job share


In line with the County Council's Recruitment and Selection Policy, please note that we are unable to accept CVs. Applications must be submitted on-line via the Northeast Jobs portal. 

Please use the ‘Person Specification’ section of your application form to demonstrate that you have the essential and where possible, desirable experience, skills, and knowledge.  Candidates who do not evidence that they meet the essential qualifications and experience listed on the person specification will not be short-listed.

Interviews are expected to be held on Wednesday 10th January 2024.

We operate a guaranteed interview scheme for applicants that can show they meet all the essential criteria and have indicated they have a disability, are a looked after young person, care leaver or a veteran.

If you have any support needs or require assistance when applying for this role, please contact the Payroll and Employee Services Team via email PESREG@durham.gov.uk or telephone 03000 264469/ 264798 / 264764

We can offer you a range of employee benefits including competitive salaries, a generous leave entitlement of up to 32 days, a government pension scheme and various flexible and hybrid working options (benefits are subject to individual Terms and Conditions).

If you would like to know more, please follow this link.

Durham County Council currently operates a hybrid working policy.
Though these posts will often require working in the office, it will also be possible to work from home or remotely on a regular basis, subject to the needs of the service. Details can be discussed at interview. Alternatively you can work all of your contracted hours within the workplace if you prefer.


We are a proud equal opportunities employer and recognise the value of difference, having a diverse talented workforce brings new ideas and new perspectives, which will facilitate growth and improvements to services.

As a Disability Confident Leader, we encourage applications from disabled people and can provide support throughout the recruitment process, for more information please refer to the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion page on our website.

Anyone currently listed on the Durham County Council Redeployment Register who is interested in being considered for this vacancy should contact PESREG@durham.gov.uk.