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English Folk Dance and Song Society

Salary: £38,500 - £41,200 FTE (£30,800 - £32,960 four days per week)

The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) is seeking an experienced professional to lead on the financial and physical development of its home and arts centre Cecil Sharp House.

EFDSS is the national development organisation for the English folk arts. It is multi-faceted, being a membership society (3,000 members); England’s folk arts centre (Cecil Sharp House); an education, training, and creative development agency; an advocate and lobbyist on behalf of the folk arts; and custodian of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML), England's folk music and dance archive, which was awarded designated status by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) in 2011. 

Cecil Sharp House (CSH) offers five main spaces which are used for EFDSS events (concerts, education activities, lectures and conferences) and hired for a range of activities including public concerts, dance classes, theatre, dance & orchestra rehearsals, trade fairs and conferences. Regular clients include the BBC, The London Symphony Orchestra, English National Opera, Phil McIntyre Entertainment, Sunday Papers, and the London Gay Men’s Chorus. Spaces are also hired for parties and weddings, with catering provided by Pink Foods, our café/bar franchisee. 

Job Summary

Working closely with the Chief Executive and Senior Management Team of Marketing, Education, Finance, and Library & Archive Directors, the Business Development & Operations Manager is responsible for the development and management of Cecil Sharp House as a vibrant folk arts centre, library and hires venue through the development of financial opportunities offered by the hire of spaces and related equipment, and café/bar trading, working with our franchisee, Pink Foods, and the physical development of CSH.

Key Responsibilities

Business Development

  1. To lead on the development of income from venue hire and associated services, seeking new markets, meeting agreed financial targets, and managing the Venue Hires Team to achieve this.
  2. To work closely with all departments to ensure the needs of the artistic and educational activities taking place in CSH (programmed by the Artists’ Development, Education and Library teams) are balanced with the need to generate income from hires.
  3. To work closely with the café/bar franchisee (Pink Foods) to help develop the offer, service, and business.
  4. To manage the needs of the tenants currently three, renting office spaces and market for new tenants when the need arises.

Cecil Sharp House

  1. Overall management and development responsibility of Cecil Sharp House, ensuring it is fit for purpose as an office space, hires venues, performance and educational space, and library and archive ie maintenance, technical and other equipment, health & safety, cleaning etc, working with the Venue Operations Manager and front-of-house team.
  2. Responsible for all maintenance contracts including cleaning, ensuring they continue to be fit for purpose; re-negotiating and undertaking tendering processes as required.
  3. To develop and implement plans for the capital development of CSH, working closely with the Chief Executive.
  4. Working with the Marketing and Communications Director to develop and maintain a high-level of customer service.

IT and Business Continuity

  1. To work with our external IT support team to ensure software and hardware, including internet and phone systems, are fit for purpose, up-grading and improving where required.
  2. To work with the Senior Management Team on business continuity plans in the event of fire, flood, terrorist attacks (this list is not exhaustive) both to the building and to its IT and online systems.

Financial and HR Management

  1. In addition to meeting the financial targets for venue hire, the Business Development & Operations Director is responsible for the CSH and Administration budgets.
  2. To effectively manage an overall staff team of 15 (delegated authority to Venue Operations Manager for box office & reception administrator and front of house team of duty managers and event assistants). 
  3. To work with our external HR support company, HR2Help, to ensure all employment and related policies and procedures are up-to-date and fit for purpose.


  1. Developing the organisation’s business plans and other plans and policies as required as a member of the Senior Management Team.
  2. To ensure equality, diversity and inclusion are at the centre of every action and decision. 
  3. Representing and advocating externally for EFDSS as required.
  4. Other duties as deemed appropriate by the Chief Executive.

This job description is a guide to the nature of the work required.  It is not wholly comprehensive or restrictive and may be reviewed by the post holder and line manager as required. 

Person specification


  • Strong and demonstrable experience of developing income opportunities from venue hire and associated activities, with ability to attain financial targets.
  • Strong and demonstrable experience of managing a cultural building and therefore a strong knowledge of health and safety, customer service etc…
  • Experience of delivering capital projects at a small to medium level – project and budget management.
  • Experience of leading, managing and developing a staff team.
  • Experience of developing and implementing equality, diversity and inclusion policies and procedures
  • Ability to use software packages primarily Word and Excel.


  • IT – understanding of software systems
  • Experience of using databases and events management software (eg Artifax)


  • Self-starter and motivator
  • Team player and team leader
  • Strong communicator – verbal, written
  • Initiative and attention to detail

Positive Action for a Diverse Workforce:

At the English Folk Dance and Song Society we strive to be an Equal Opportunities employer and to ensure that no person is unfairly discriminated against in our recruitment and selection policies and procedures. We are committed to diversifying our workforce to better represent society and we follow guidance on positive action in recruitment from the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Equality Act 2010.

  • We particularly welcome applicants for this role from ethnic minority backgrounds, and those who are disabled, as these are under-represented in our organisation and the wider folk music workforce.
  • All disabled applicants who fulfil the Person Specification and Qualities criteria for this role, will be called for an interview. Please make clear in the cover letter if you consider yourself disabled. (You may find it helpful to refer to this definition www.gov.uk/definition-of-disability-under-equality-act-2010.)


Closing date: 10 February 2022.