The Civic in Barnsley is a distinctive arts centre with performing and visual arts programming that provides communities with a culturally significant voice. Barnsley Civic produces exhibitions and performances reflecting social, political and economic issues. It is passionate about providing access to the best cultural experiences for all ages and backgrounds.


As the Civic emerged from the aftermath of the lockdown, their sights were set on the next stage of their growth. They sought a new CEO who would align with their ambitions for continuous improvement — and to extend, enrich and develop their impact with key audiences.


The CEO needed experience in a multi-stakeholder arts organisation and the ability to contribute to capital development projects. The successful candidate would also require strong commercial acumen and the skills to confidently engage with a range of local, regional, and national stakeholders.


We identified leaders within multi-disciplinary arts venues and cultural organisations with trading subsidiaries, commercial activity, visitor attractions and entertainment venues. We focused our search on Yorkshire and the North of England.

We complemented this with a creative advertising and social media campaign, highlighting the challenges and priorities of the role and the distinctiveness of Barnsley and its communities.


During the search, we approached 200 people about the role and received applications from candidates that included principals within arts-based education providers, chief executive officers, and directors from a cross-section of the arts and cultural sector.

8 candidates were longlisted, and 3 candidates made the shortlist. We appointed an experienced Artistic Director and CEO with expertise in performing and visual arts venues. They also had experience in a non-executive director role within artistic organisations and as the Chair for a northeast cultural venue.

The successful candidate commented:

‘I’m loving my new role here at The Civic in Barnsley. Such a brilliant place that’s really going places! It’s been great to really make a difference here and influence exciting changes which will bring us closer to our local community and make the organisation even more relevant.

Peridot, and in particular James, were a great support during the recruitment and appointment process.’

Our dedicated Arts, Heritage and Culture team is available to assist you with the recruitment of your board or executive team. Contact Rebekah Abbott at or call her on 07538 270749. You can also connect with Rebekah on Linkedin.