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Big Difference Company seeks new CEO for the Leicester Comedy Festival

BIG DIFFERENCE COMPANY seeks new CEO, for the Leicester Comedy Festival and more. This could be a new role and direction for a festival organiser (and this is not a joke )

Chief Executive - Big Difference Company
Location: Leicester
Salary: c£40,000 per annum
Closing date: 5pm Friday 3 July 2020
The UK’s Official Comedy Party - celebrating comedy since 1994
Big Difference Company, the charity behind the annual Leicester Comedy Festival and other ambitious projects, seeks a commercially focused Chief Executive to lead the organisation through the next exciting stage of its development. This is a great opportunity to make a real difference to the long-term sustainability of an important organisation in these uncertain times.
How to apply:
Please send a short CV and covering letter outlining your experience and interest in the role to Martyn Allison, Chair of Trustees, Big Difference Company [email protected]  
If you would like an informal discussion about the role, please contact our adviser Nick Dodds at FEI. [email protected] Closing Date for applications 5pm Friday 3 July 2020.
Interviews will take place w/c 13 July 2020. Because of uncertainty around the current Covid19 pandemic we anticipate that initial interviews will be undertaken remotely.
Leicester Comedy Festival has been established for over 27 years and is one of the UK’s leading comedy events with over 800 performances over three weeks in February each year. Big Difference Company has developed its charitable work throughout the year to engage, excite, educate and entertain, creating positive wellbeing and memories for the people of Leicester and beyond. As chief officer of the charity the Chief Executive will have the support of the founder and Festival Director, Geoff Rowe and a small enthusiastic team.
In 2020 Leicester Comedy Festival presented 1600 comedians in 95 venues to an audience of 135,000. Headline acts for 2020 included Jo Brand, Stewart Lee, Milton Jones, Shappi Khorsandi, Fascinating Aida, Paul Sinha, Josie Long, Jason Byrne, Tony Slattery, Angela Barnes, Griff Rhys Jones, Andy Parsons, John Shuttleworth, Dane Baptiste, Rhod Gilbert, Mark Steel, Flo & Joan, Arthur Smith and Reg D Hunter.
Leicester Comedy Festival is produced by the registered charity Big Difference Company and our aims are to support new and emerging talent, celebrate British comedy and support comedians, promoters and venues to put on the best shows and events. Throughout the rest of the year we deliver life-changing schemes and projects including those which engage with older people, children, young people and their families, people with disabilities and those living with poor mental health.   
Big Difference Company Chief Executive – Job Description
Responsible to: Board of Trustees Reporting to: Chair of the Board Responsible for: Big Difference Company staff team, partners, stakeholders and contractors
Hours of work: Flexible across the year  Salary: Circa £40,000 per annum Location: Leicester City Centre
Overall purpose of the role
As the charity’s chief officer, to provide leadership, to drive revenue generation from new and existing sources and to effectively manage the resources of Big Difference Company to ensure it is an efficient and sustainable business to enable it to deliver a successful annual Leicester Comedy Festival and other year-round projects to meet its charitable objectives.
The Chief Executive will be expected to lead and develop positive working relationships with all organisations and individuals that can assist Big Difference Company achieve its business aims including:
• Board of Trustees • Funders, sponsors and corporate donors • Business Partner Club members • Suppliers • Key strategic partners, including Leicester City Council, De Montfort University, Leicester BID, Place Marketing Organisation, LLEP and others.
In carrying out this role the Chief Executive will have the advice and support of the founder Festival Director.  
Key responsibilities of the job
The Chief Executive will be responsible for:  
1. The successful delivery of all Big Difference Company outcomes.
2. The overall financial performance of Big Difference Company and its trading company, Big Difference Productions.
3. Fully exploiting all existing revenue streams and actively seeking out new revenue generating opportunities and leveraging Leicester Comedy Festival brand to ensure the future sustainability of BDC.
4. Maximising the efficiency and cost effectiveness of BDC’s resources including ensuring there is proper project management and control of all projects.
  5. Producing and maintaining a three-year business strategy and an annual business plan and agreeing with each staff member budget/income and performance targets to deliver them.
6. In conjunction with the Finance Manager develop and maintain systems and processes to monitor financial performance including cash flow and report regularly to the finance subcommittee and the board of trustees.
7. Agreeing with the Festival Director the format and budget for Leicester Comedy Festival and associated projects including specific targets for each income stream associated with the Festival.
8. Maintaining and developing key stakeholder relationships, particularly Leicester City Council, De Montfort University and key funders and sponsors in association with the Festival Director.
9. Developing new sponsorship and commercial partnership and developing and maintaining existing sponsor relationships.   10. Overseeing all Marketing and Communications undertaken by BDC and BDP ensuring that the purpose of Big Difference is fully understood locally and nationally.
11. Overseeing the performance management process for all staff, including the Festival Director.
12. Undertaking all HR requirements to meet the company’s legal and insurance obligations, health and safety regulations, equal opportunity policies and procedures and applying good environmental practices.   13. Identifying training and development needs of the staff and volunteers and implementing training and personal development plans as appropriate.
14. Servicing and supporting the board of trustees including ensuring all appropriate governance requirements are met and adhered to.
Other main tasks
15. To prepare and submit reports and financial returns for funders (LCC and others as appropriate) in accordance with the terms of the funding contracts.
16. To ensure that the organisation meets its duties under relevant legislation and with regard to annual returns for the Charities Commission, Companies House and other relevant organisations, including the production of annual audited accounts.
17. To ensure all supplier contracts are regularly reviewed and tendered to maximise value for money.
  18. To oversee financial controls and regulation and the efficient operation of the office on a day-to-day basis.  
19. To action and administer recruitment processes, issue contracts for all staff and freelance workers and maintain HR records.
20. To recruit, induct and supervise interns, student placements and volunteers.
21. To ensure that the organisation’s CRM systems and databases are maintained and managed ensuring best practice in relation to the GDPR Act 2018.
22. To ensure all policies are maintained and updated and approved by trustees.
23. To regularly review and maintain the risk assessments and Health & Safety responsibilities for the organisation
24. To be the organisation’s designated Child/Vulnerable Adults Protection Officer.
25. To ensure own health and safety, that of members of the public, staff and contractors by complying with organisational safety policies, procedures and all legislation.   
26. To carry out the duties of the post with due regard to the organisation’s equalities and diversity policy and core values.  
27. Other duties and responsibilities as may be reasonably be required, commensurate with the overall remit of the post.
Person Specification
Essential skills and experience
1. An understanding of and empathy with the cultural and charitable objectives of BDC.
2. Strong commercial awareness and ability to generate income and raise funding.
3. Ability to work with others to set a vision for an organisation, including developing new ideas and ways of working.
4. Experience of managing people and leading and managing change with tact and diplomacy and the ability to delegate responsibility and empower a team to manage their own work.
5. Financial and HR management experience in an organisation of similar scale and complexity.
6. Experience of setting and overseeing budgets, excellent strategic financial planning skills and attention to detail.
  7. A good working knowledge of the factors that affect the economic vibrancy of a small cultural organisation which is a registered charity.
8. A demonstrable track record of project development and delivery and ability to deliver agreed plans to very high standards, on time and on budget.
9. Experience of working with a range of stakeholders and partners from across the public and private and voluntary sectors.
10. An ability to act with the highest degree of integrity at all times.
11. Excellent communication, influencing, negotiating and networking skills.
12. IT literate and awareness of a range of business IT applications and social media.
13. Ability to work flexibly to respond to the needs of multiple complex projects and solve problems creatively.
14. Appropriate qualifications in a relevant subject and/or relevant experience at required level.
Desirable skills and experience
1. Professional qualification relevant to the management of a small charity or cultural organisation.
2. Awareness and understanding of the UK comedy sector.
3. Knowledge of Leicester and its business/cultural environment.
4. Knowledge and experience of supplier/contract management.
5. Good personal skills and a passionate approach to delivery and results.
6. Openness to new ways of working and the willingness to embrace them.
Terms of Employment
Salary: c£40,000 per annum Hours: 40 hours per week. Flexible across the year with occasional evening and weekend working Holidays: 28 days per annum including bank and public holidays Pension: 3% company contribution; 5% minimum employee contribution Notice Period: 3 months Probationary period: 6 months


Association of Festival Organisers (AFO): 5th Jun 2020 14:10:00

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