Jan 262018

Chair of the Board of Trustees - Ironbridge Gorge Museum

Location: Shropshire
Salary: Unremunerated position, but reasonable expenses can be paid
Posted: 24 Jan 2018
Closes: 21 Feb 2018
Sectors: Media & Digital Media
Contract Type: Permanent
Hours: Part Time

Founded in 1967, the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust Ltd is a registered charity whose twin aims are education and heritage conservation and the Trust is one of the largest independent museums in the world. The Trust cares for 36 scheduled monuments and listed buildings within the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site and operates 10 award-winning museums which collectively tell the story of the Ironbridge Gorge's universal significance for its unique role in the development of the Industrial Revolution. These museums receive around 500,000 visits a year, including 70,000 school visits. As well as 10 museums, the sites in the Trust's care include a research library, a tourist information centre, two youth hostels, archaeological monuments, historic woodlands, housing, two chapels, and two Quaker burial grounds. In managing this diverse group of assets, the Trust is pursuing an active development programme, and of key importance is the conservation and on-going maintenance of the monuments and historic buildings in its care, together with new and innovative interpretation schemes.

Ironbridge is in the privileged position of having its entire and multi-themed collections Designated of national importance and it is in the unique position of being able to use its collections, many within their context of production, together with the landscape and buildings to tell the holistic story of the Ironbridge Gorge and how it became known internationally as the Birthplace of Industry.

The Trust is widely recognised as one of the most innovative and entrepreneurial museums in the UK. Operating as a 'pure' independent model without statutory local government or central government support, the Trust has over many years proved the strength and resilience of its Governance model, its ability to manage risk effectively and to continually meet the changing needs of the communities and audiences which it serves.

We are looking for a new Chair to replace our current Chairman, who retires in July 2018. Prospective applicants need to demonstrate a passion and commitment for our work and have the knowledge and experience to the support the work of the Museum and its Executive. Further information about the Trust is available through our website . The role is unpaid but immensely rewarding in terms of lifelong learning, positive impacts on peoples' lives, together with wider attainment in heritage management.

Role of the Chair

The role of the Chair for the Museum is varied, exciting and hugely rewarding. Key responsibilities are:

  • Provide leadership for the Board, including monitoring and appraisal of Trustee performance.
  • Harness and direct Trustees' efforts in support of the Trust's charitable aims.
  • Chair Board meetings, enabling contributions from all Trustees, and ensuring that the Board functions effectively.
  • Ensure that Trustees understand their responsibilities.
  • Ensure that the Trust plans strategically
  • Act as a spokesperson and figurehead as appropriate
  • Line manager for the Chief executive, supporting her and undertaking an annual appraisal

Role as a Trustee

  • Work with the Board and the Executive to promote the vision and values of the Trust and enhance its profile.
  • Provide and pursue strategic direction, encouraging new partnerships, opportunities and ways of working.
  • Set overall policy, defining goals and evaluating performance against agreed targets.
  • Exercise expert judgement and scrutiny for the Trust, contributing fully to Board meetings and sub-committees to ensure excellent governance.
  • Support the Chief Executive, and wider senior team where appropriate.
  • Promote the credibility, ethos and values of the Trust.

Trustee meetings are held five times a year, currently early morning but likely to be held late afternoon/early evening in 2018. Trustees also participate in one or more of the Trust's sub-Committees, depending on their interests and experience, which usually meet quarterly.

Qualities required

We welcome applications from candidates with the relevant skills and expertise to undertake the role effectively. The successful candidate will have all or most of the following attributes:

  • Solid leadership experience as a main-board executive and non-executive director, ideally with some prior experience in a chairing capacity, whether in the private, public or charity sector.
  • Strong understanding of the role of a non-executive Chair, with a focus on leading and developing Board members and working closely with the Chief Executive to provide strong leadership to the wider Trust.
  • Good independent judgement
  • Ability to think strategically, focusing on major issues
  • Experience of business planning and financial management
  • Excellent communication and presentational skills, comfortable in an advocacy role, representing the Trust to a wide range of stakeholders.
  • The ability to work as a member of a team and a willingness to state personal convictions and, equally, to accept a majority decision and be tolerant of other views.
  • An empathy for the work of the Trust and alignment with our vision and values.
  • Commitment to the Nolan seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

Recruitment Process

Notifications of interest consisting of a C.V. together with a supporting statement (maximum 2 sides of A4) and names of two referees whom we may approach should be sent by email to board@ironbridge.org.uk.

To arrange an informal discussion with either the Chief Executive or the current Chairman please contact board@ironbridge.org.uk.

The closing date for notifications is 9am 21 February 2018.

Interviews for potential candidates will take place in early March at the Trust’s Head Office in Coalbrookdale, Telford.

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