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CEO | The Civic, Barnsley

Take a key leadership role in developing this valued and thriving contemporary arts centre providing diverse arts and cultural experiences to our local community.

  • Location: Barnsley, South Yorkshire
  • Salary: £45,000 - £50,000, based on experience

About the role

Created for our community, The Civic is the contemporary arts centre positioned in the heart of Barnsley. We have a range of facilities, including a 336-seat performance space and events venue, a contemporary design led gallery space, 10 creative working spaces that can be utilised as meeting rooms, workshop spaces or business units for creative organisations, office facilities, and we provide a diverse artistic programme accessible to all.

We are now at a pivotal time of our journey and are looking ahead to a significant and ambitious re-development of our building, a development which you will lead towards being a flagship project in the broader regeneration of the town. As we emerge from Covid-19 and start to open up again, you will also provide inspirational leadership to our dedicated teams as we welcome back audiences, and continue our community outreach to enable more people to engage in the cultural experience we offer.

Who we are looking for

We are seeking someone with proven collaborative leadership experience gained in a multi-disciplinary cultural organisation. You will be adept at engaging and developing local, regional and national relationships with different stakeholders. You will possess strong commercial acumen and the ability to drive forward on our capital fundraising programme, as well as the ability to think creatively and strategically to respond to our community needs. You will be a credible communicator and ambassador, who can convey messages persuasively, with clarity and conviction.

We want to attract leaders who are brave, curious and bold, are solution focused and forward thinking and genuinely excited by the prospect of reaching our further potential.

If you would like to have an informal conversation about this opportunity you can contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners;

Closing date: 9am, Monday 24th May 2021

If you would like to know more about this role please contact James Hunt

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Welcome from Steve Wragg, Chair

Thank you for your interest in becoming our new CEO, at The Civic, Barnsley.

We are a distinctive arts centre with both performing and visual arts provided in a historic building that stands in the centre of the borough of Barnsley. We exist to provide Barnsley and the surrounding communities with a culturally significant voice.

Our aim is to present a progressive programme that relates to the area with exhibitions and performances that reflect social, political, and economic attitudes while entertaining our visitors.

The Civic is passionate about people of all ages and backgrounds having access to the best arts and cultural experiences on their own doorstep.

Our next CEO will be joining us at a pivotal time for the arts sector as we re-emerge from lockdown, but also with a significant opportunity to develop our offering in a brand-new town centre, ensuring we complement and enhance the work the local council has done to change the face of Barnsley. We have an historic building with plans in place to continue its development and to deliver a new offering by 2023.

We want someone who is aligned to our values, has social purpose in their DNA, and the ability to lead and deliver transformative results, whilst working with and alongside multiple stakeholders.

You will have substantial leadership experience in a complex, multi-stakeholder arts organisation. Adept at navigating and reconciling diverse interests and contrary views, your track record will demonstrate your ability to unify people around common aims and be a catalyst for positive change.

We want a leader who can empower and galvanise their team with a style that is collaborative, inclusive and involving. You will also bring a strong commercial acumen and proven experience in growing and developing new business models. As the development of our building is crucial in the next stage of our development, ideally we will need you to bring experiencing of leading or contributing to capital development projects.

We are looking for someone who has a track record in operating as an impactful and credible ambassador and can convey messages persuasively, with clarity and conviction. Our new CEO will take us into the next phase of our development and will lead the team to deliver our vision.

We want to attract leaders who are brave, curious and bold, are solution focused and forward thinking and genuinely excited by the prospect of reaching our further potential.

For the right candidate, this is an exciting opportunity to be part of an ambitious organisation where your voice, your ideas and your contribution will have a critical impact on our success.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

Steve Wragg
Chair, The Civic

About the Civic

The Civic is a contemporary arts centre positioned in the centre of Barnsley.

It comprises a range of facilities including a 336-seat performance space and events venue, a contemporary design led gallery space, ten creative working spaces that can be utilised as meetings rooms, workshop spaces or business units for creative organisations, office facilities in the front phase supporting key community services, a vibrant café/bistro and three currently unfinished floors ripe for development.

The Civic was created for its community as an asset and resource for them to enjoy, utilise and benefit from. All aspects of the venue are therefore underpinned by the following charitable objectives:

  • To advance the education of the public through the promotion of artistic and cultural events and exhibitions.
  • To provide or assist in the provision of facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation or other leisure time occupation for the purposes of improving the conditions of life.
  • The relief of unemployment for the public benefit in such ways as may be thought fit.
  • The retention, conservation, and preservation of Barnsley Civic Hall for the purpose of furthering the objects and the conservation and preservation of other such buildings of historic and architectural importance.
  • Such other charitable purposes consistent with the objects above for the benefit of the inhabitants of Barnsley, and the public at large, by such charitable means as the Directors shall determine.

The Civic exists to be extraordinary and prides itself on providing an engaging and diverse artistic programme across a range of genres.

The Civic capital refurbishment project

The Civic Arts Centre currently operates within one third at the rear of the Civic building the Trust manages.

The front Victorian third is let to Barnsley MBC on a long lease for office accommodation this lease comes to an end in the Autumn of 2022.

At the core of the Civic there are just over 22,000 sq. ft of empty space over three floors that are not in use due to being in a shell state. This makes up the central third.

To enable The Civic to grow and become more sustainable a £7.2m refurbishment project is planned.

The proposed scheme will:

  • Re-instate our original Victorian Entrance on Eldon Street and make the historic features of the building accessible to our audiences.
  • Create a new welcoming main entrance complete with new bar, box office and space to relax.
  • Create a new Studio Theatre, Events Space, and extended Gallery so we can offer more exciting arts events, exhibitions and shows.
  • Create dedicated rehearsal and workshop spaces for more classes and participatory arts activities.
  • Create high quality residential apartments in the historic frontage and enable us to give the original façade some much needed care and attention.

There is £1.6m secured towards the £7.2m construction target from BMBC and Historic England as part of the Eldon Street HSHAZ scheme.

The balance needs to be raised to ensure the Arts Centre elements of the scheme can be delivered.

The scheme will be at RIBA Work Stage 3 and submitted for planning consent by June 2021 and some funds have been secured towards the cost of RIBA Work Stage 4.

Situated to the east of the Pennines, Barnsley is a borough of contrasts, consisting of 10 towns and 23 villages. From the Pennine uplands, it extends eastwards over a varied landscape of wooded valleys, rolling farmland and dispersed towns and villages of the former Yorkshire coalfield.

Much of it is rural and semi-rural in character. Its population of 227,000 is spread over 320 square kilometres (127 square miles), with Penistone in the west, 10 kilometres (6 miles) from Barnsley town centre and 22 kilometres (14 miles) from Goldthorpe in the east.

Two large cities are within easy travelling distance by road and rail; Leeds 40 kilometres (25 miles) to the north and Sheffield 27 kilometres (17 miles) to the south, reflecting Barnsley’s position within two city regions.

Geographically, the borough divides into three distinct areas:

  1. Lying mainly to the west of the M1 motorway is the lightly populated, attractive hilly country centred on the market town of Penistone and two former coal mining villages, Dodworth and Darton, which cover half of the total borough. A relatively affluent area, pockets of disadvantage are nevertheless scattered throughout.
  2. In the centre lies the urban core of Barnsley. Long famous for its market, Barnsley town centre is the borough’s main shopping, administrative, commercial and entertainment centre. This is exemplified by recent developments such as the Digital Media Centre, the Core, Gateway Plaza and the Civic. Projects such as Marketplace Barnsley will continue to transform the skyline over the next few years. Dispersed towns and villages, separated by open land, surround the urban core to the north, south and east.

3. Barnsley has a lot to offer everyone who lives and works here. Barnsley has a vibrant town centre, with a cosmopolitan mix of cafés, theatres, museums, art galleries and hotels.

Barnsley’s sports and leisure facilities are also superb. There is also the town’s renowned 700-year-old market and plenty of high street stores for shoppers.


With famous places of interest and some fantastic hidden gems, visitors to Barnsley aren’t short of things to do.

You can watch a performance at the Lamproom Theatre, view fine art at the Cooper Gallery or take a step back in time at the majestic Cannon Hall museum.

With a cosmopolitan mix of cafes, theatres, art galleries and museums including Experience Barnsley – an engaging museum about Barnsley created by the people of Barnsley, the town has an excellent offering when it comes to culture.


Barnsley town centre is packed full of independent shops, high street stores and is home to one of the best markets in South Yorkshire. Venturing further into the outskirts of the town and its neighbouring villages, visitors can discover hidden hamlets with excellent shopping opportunities and farm shops stocked with exceptional local produce.

Town centre

The Glass Works is the name given to the town centre redevelopment – full of retail, restaurants, cafes and leisure. Work is well underway on this exciting project that will transform Barnsley town centre.

It includes their new:

  • town square
  • markets
  • shopping and leisure space
  • community space central library
  • bridge and car parking


Bordering onto the Peak District, Barnsley has some enchanting outdoor spaces.

You can spend a quiet afternoon at Monk Bretton Priory, explore the extraordinary Yorkshire Sculpture Park, stroll through the landscaped gardens at the National Trust’s first South Yorkshire attraction – Wentworth Castle Gardens, or cycle along the Trans Pennine Trail.

Children will enjoy a family outing to Cannon Hall Farm to meet the animals and play in the adventure playground.

Barnsley Council

Barnsley is a high performing council with ambition, flair and imagination. They have transformed their relationships with our communities through their award winning area council model, achieved sustainability despite austerity through our Future Council programme, and are revitalising Barnsley through investment in the town centre and Principal Towns.

Council’s plan

Their council plan for 2021 to 2024 sets out what they aim to achieve over three years. The council plan has been developed by the work that’s taken place for the Barnsley 2030 project through a series of activities with residents, businesses, employees and other key stakeholders across the borough, to build a picture of what Barnsley is like now and what they want it to be like by 2030.

Council’s performance management

Their quarterly Corporate Plan Performance Report includes updates on their progress in delivering against their priorities, outcomes and key performance indicators. See their latest council performance report.

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    Please send your application to (inserting “The Civic, CEO – Application” into the subject field):  response@peridotpartners.co.uk

    If you would like to have an informal conversation about this opportunity you can contact our consultants at Peridot Partners;

    We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief.

    All applications will be considered solely on merit.


    Closing date: 9am, Monday 24th May 2021
    First stage interviews: Wednesday 2nd or Thursday 3rd June 2021
    Final stage interviews: w/c Monday 14th June 2021

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

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