Job Advert: Executive Director — Chelmsford Cultural Development Trust

The recently established Chelmsford Cultural Development Trust is seeking candidates for an exciting new role, helping to shape a stronger future for the arts, culture and heritage in the City of Chelmsford.

The Executive Director will be an individual with a passion for the beneficial outcomes of artistic and cultural endeavour; a commitment to adding public value; and proven capacities for organising and delivering fundraising programmes.

An experienced leader, influencer and practitioner in the sector, the successful applicant will enjoy a unique role at the forefront of initiatives to create enduring legacies contributing to the quality of life and well-being of Chelmsford’s residents and visitors.

The new position is designed as a part time role and the Trust is committed to equal opportunities and diversity.

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Chelmsford was created a city in 2012. It is the only city in Essex. It has a population of approximately 120,000 within a district of 170,000.

Home to Essex County Cricket Club, Anglia Ruskin University and many thriving schools, Chelmsford is economically prosperous, has close and easy links to London and several international airports and is home to many businesses and public sector organizations.

The city is developing a cultural strategy that looks ahead more than twenty years. In the near term the city’s Oaklands Museum is undergoing a Heritage Lottery Funded redevelopment, and the theatres are being challenged to develop their programme of work to be both more diverse and to attract wider audiences.

The city is growing fast, and both the City Council and the Trust are determined to work together to ensure that the arts and cultural offer both respond to this growth and work to ensure a better balance between economic activity and heritage, arts and culture, seeking to improve the lives of both residents and visitors.

Chelmsford Cultural Development Trust is an independent charity whose objective is to support and enable development of Culture in Chelmsford through fundraising and advocacy.

The Trust will develop strategies, including for individual giving, legacies and endowment, to create capacity for the strategic development of Chelmsford’s arts, museums and theatres, helping to attract or creating new exhibitions and events.

Who we are

The Trust is governed by a board of unpaid, volunteer Trustees drawn from the business, education and arts communities, who are advocates for the arts and culture in the city.

The Trust is separate from, but works closely with, Chelmsford City Council. There is one City Council representative on the Board of the Trust who is an elected Councillor.

The Trust is working closely with Essex County Council, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford Festival, Ignite Chelmsford and other key organisations across education, business and of course arts and heritage.

Chelmsford Cultural Development Trust is a registered UK charity (No 1180431)

How we work

The Trust sees the arts and culture as vital tools to engage socially excluded communities; to raise aspirations both for the City and individuals within it; and to draw people to the City as residents, students, investors, employees and visitors.

The Trust adds value through advocating for the City’s strategies and work programmes for culture, heritage, tourism and place-making; identifying ways to leverage additional capacity; exploiting milestone events; and planning to establish an endowment fund to support long term investment in line with the City’s agreed priorities.

What we do

The ​​​Chelmsford Cultural Development Trust ​exists​ for​ the​ public​ benefit,​ ​to​ ​advance:

Education,​ by​ making​ grants​ ​to​ support​ ​the​ development​ ​of ​collections​ and resources ​that​ ​enable ​people​ ​to​ have​ ​access ​to​ ​art, ​culture,​ heritage​ or​ ​science, ​in​ museums, ​theatres​ ​and ​facilities​ ​owned​ ​by​ the​ ​City​ ​of​ ​Chelmsford;​ ​​initially,​ priority​ will​ be​ ​support ​for​ ​the​ ​partly​ HLF-funded​ transformation​ ​of​ Chelmsford​​ Museum​ within​ Oaklands ​Park

Arts​ ​and ​​culture,​ ​by ​promoting​​ ​awareness​ ​of ​​the ​​merits​ ​of​ ​the ​​collections​ ​and encouraging​ high​ standards​​ ​of​ ​the​ arts​ ​of​ ​performance,​ ​in​ museums,​ theatres​ and​ facilities​ owned​ by​ the​ ​City ​​of​ ​Chelmsford;​ initially,​​​ ​priority​ ​will​ ​be​ ​advocacy ​for​ the​ intrinsic​ ​value​ and​ ​instrumental​ ​benefits​ ​of ​cultural​​ and​ creative​ activity​ ​in​ ​terms​ ​of well-being​ ​for ​​children, ​families​ and​​ older​ people​

Such ​charitable​ ​purposes ​​(according to​​ ​the​ ​law​ of​ ​England​ ​and​ ​Wales)​ ​as​ ​the trustees​ ​see​ fit​ from​ ​time​ to​ time,​ to​ ​increase ​​participation ​in​ ​artistic, ​​cultural ​​and scientific​ ​pursuits​ ​by ​people​ of​ ​all​ ​ages ​​living​ ​in​ ​or ​​visiting​ the​ ​City ​​of ​Chelmsford;​ initially, ​​priority​ ​will​ ​be​ ​projects​ ​related​ ​to ​the​​ ​City’s​ ​plans​ ​for​ a​ ​Year of Creativity and Science ​in​ 2020​ – Essex 2020

What we need

The Trust launches to the public during 2019 and now plans to appoint its first Executive Director, initially the sole staff member, to help the Board to shape the inaugural programme.

Position Description – Executive Director – Part Time

Background and Purpose

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate passion for the role. S/he will have a track record of success at a senior level in relevant social enterprises in the arts, heritage or broader cultural sector and public-facing environment, with proven capacity to work efficiently and imaginatively with minimal supervision.

To be responsible for the development and delivery of strategies and initial programmes for Chelmsford Cultural Development Trust, aligned with the strategic vision of the City of Chelmsford for its arts and cultural provision.

Primary tasks

Research, prepare and submit fundraising proposals in relation to the Trust’s support for Chelmsford City Council, starting with the preparation of persuasive bids for investment by Arts Council England and other key partners.

Maintain effective collaborative relationships with current and potential funders, acting as the key point of contact for the Trust.

Maintain the Trust’s profile via social media and by attending key events including agreed evening concerts and networking functions.

Develop an individual donor plan and associated strategies to support the establishment in due course of an Endowment Fund.


Reporting to the Chair, the Executive Director will collaborate with Board members, the Charity Secretary (retained by the Trust on an honorarium), colleagues in Chelmsford City Council and others to achieve strong narratives for the Trust, ensuring compliance with the requirements of the Charity Commission and other statutory bodies. The Executive Director will:

  • Network easily, research special campaigns and implement fundraising initiatives.
  • Maintain local & national knowledge of fundraising legislation and opportunities in the arts, heritage & culture sectors.
  • Identify new opportunities to build relationships and partnerships with a range of organizations and individuals to help ensure the long-term sustainability of the Trust.
  • Act as an ambassador for the Trust, maximising publicity for the organisation throughout the city, representing the Trust, safeguarding and enhancing its reputation and promoting its work at all times.
  • Be responsible for GDPR compliance and be the Data Controller for the charity.

Qualifications & Experience

  • A minimum of three years’ experience in a charity environment, with a proven track record of achieving significant annual fundraising targets, and with responsibility for:
    • determining strategies in concert with governance
    • developing effective plans in relation to fundraising
    • securing major grants from public and private organisations
    • working with individual donors at all giving levels
  • Experienced in working on a senior leadership level and having previous strategic management responsibility
  • A fluent communicator, experienced in working with funders, managers and trustees
  • Working knowledge of governance and the day to day application of charity law

Skills & Knowledge

  • Competent in financial analysis, forecasting and reporting
  • Effective and influential communicator with excellent negotiation skills and confidence in staging effective and persuasive presentations
  • Comfortable with common digital platforms and applications for maintaining communications and exchanging information
  • Working knowledge of marketing and public-facing communications

Personal Attributes

  • A passion for ensuring arts, culture and science shaping Chelmsford as a place and at the heart of daily life for everyone;
  • Understanding of, and sensitivity to, the motivations of charitable trusts, corporate supporters and individual donors
  • Personal integrity and professional standing
  • Collaborative and approachable with strong leadership ability
  • Self-motivating; creative thinker, with entrepreneurial instincts
  • Ability to see ‘the big picture’ and to realise the delivery of a vision

Terms and Conditions

The Trust is committed to diversity of background, experience and perspective, and to equality of opportunity in its programmes, advocacy, employment practices and in the sponsorship of its services.

The Trust is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer. Probably home-based, with working arrangements to help achieve a balanced lifestyle. Reflecting the independence of the role, core Values will include the highest levels of integrity and trust.

The contract could include annualised hours and flexible tasking to fit around other commitments and specific personal requirements. Some evening representational work will be expected.

Two-year fixed term contract initially, subject to performance agreement and appraisal.

Part time – 2.5 days per week (0.5 FTE).

Salary pro rata, based on full time from £35,000 per annum, depending on experience and qualifications; potential for an additional, incentivised component.

How to Apply

The Trust invites applications by the end of January 2019, via email to

Include an up to date CV and a covering letter addressed to the Chair, Roy Clare. Briefly outline experience, skills, qualifications and career profile in relation to the Position Description above.

Applications will be handled in strict confidence.

For those that appear to match the specification, an informal discussion with the Chair may follow by phone or Skype. Subsequent stages will include a face to face interview involving a panel, when References would be taken up.

The trust intends to make an appointment by April 2019 if possible.

Photograph: Chelmsford Civic Theatre by
Icon: PDF by Yamini Ahluwalia from the Noun Project