Are you passionate about our diverse cultural and natural heritage and the forward-facing role it could play in enriching places and communities for everyone? Do you want to make a difference by supporting the people who care for it? Could you lead committed Trustees, staff and volunteers to influence government policies and regulation, and support heritage organisations?

If this is you, you may be ideally placed to act as our new Chair of Trustees.

We are The Heritage Alliance, the largest collaboration of independent heritage organisations in the UK, with over 200 organisational members representing more than 7 million people, from visitors to volunteers, trustees to staff. We are a charity which supports our members and the wider heritage sector by influencing decision-makers and funders, by promoting the importance of heritage to everybody’s lives, and by supporting the sector through training and networking, which has proved a lifeline to many in these continued challenging times.

Our context

The Heritage Alliance is a growing membership organisation and charity, passionate about the contribution heritage makes to prosperity, wellbeing, our environment, creativity and social resilience. To help us deliver, we are committed to promoting new thinking and new conversations, and to ensuring that our sector better reflects the varied geographical, ethnic and cultural characteristics of the UK.

We gather insight and evidence so that we can effectively influence policy making locally and nationally, run sector support programmes with major partners such as the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England, and twice every year we bring members together with the wider sector for our renowned Heritage Debate and Heritage Day. The Heritage Alliance is committed to supporting our membership to succeed and we want to reflect that diversity of focus and thinking on our own Board.

We wish to see a society in which England’s historic environment and wider cultural heritage is valued, supported and able to enrich everyone’s lives.

Our Chair is an important public face of The Heritage Alliance, representing its members in a range of forums and to key decision-makers and influencers in politics and Government. The Chair will also work closely with the Chief Executive (Lizzie Glithero-West) to support the smooth running of the organisation.

Who we are looking for

We are looking for a strategic leader to chair our vibrant Board and act as a powerful advocate for the organisation and its work. At the same time, we are looking for someone who will prioritise the business of running a successful advocacy charity and support the work of the executive as we seek to grow our support to the sector through delivering new fundraising and sector resilience activities. We are therefore looking for a Chair with passion and vision who can work with us to shape how our dynamic organisation develops in the coming years.

Specifically for our Chair we are looking for someone who:

• Can demonstrate a strong and visible passion and commitment to the charity, its strategic objectives and cause;

• Has personal gravitas and diplomacy to lead a significant national heritage organisation; • Possesses strong leadership skills, and the ability to motivate staff and volunteers and bring people together;

• Offers networking capabilities that can be utilised for the benefit of the Alliance; • Is well equipped to support fundraising and membership promotion;

• Has a good understanding of charity governance and has significant experience of chairing meetings and events;

• Is collaborative and able to work closely with fellow trustees, the CEO and staff of the Alliance in a strategic and supportive way;

• Is a self-starter and confident to work with a smaller organisation;

• Can commit time to conduct the role well, including travel and attending events out of office hours;

• Is committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion.

As a sector support body committed to positive change and supporting our members to be fit for the future, we feel passionately that our Trustee Board should be truly representative of the people it serves. We therefore welcome applications from a variety of backgrounds, especially those who are under-represented on our own board and across the heritage sector.

In addition, we recognise that each member of the Board brings their own expertise, experience and skill set to the work of The Heritage Alliance, so while an interest in, or commitment to the heritage sector is essential, we are keen to consider a wider range of varied professional and lived experience, new perspectives and sound judgment.

What’s expected from me as Chair?

The Chair’s main role is to lead the Board of Trustees and ensure effective governance of the charity. The Board of Trustees set the overall vision and strategic direction for The Heritage Alliance’s work supported by the Chief Executive and the team.

The Chair will have demonstrable and proven ability to deliver the following principal responsibilities:

Strategic leadership

• Provide leadership to the board, helping to maximise the service the Alliance provides to its members and deliver its overall charitable purposes.

• Work with the Trustees, supported by the senior staff, to set the strategic direction of the organisation, horizon scanning, assessing risk, and harnessing opportunities for the future.

Public affairs

• Be a visible ambassador for the Alliance and for the cause of the independent heritage sector.

• Maintain good contacts within Government and with key political stakeholders, while helping to build other contacts, looking beyond heritage sectors where relevant for possible new sources of support.

• Represent the Alliance at external events, where necessary as a speaker and vocal advocate for the Alliance’s priority areas.

• Be a spokesperson for the charity and maintain good relations with key media contacts. • Help to promote membership growth and fundraising for the organisation.

Effective governance

• Oversee sound governance arrangements for the Alliance.

• Chair quarterly meetings of the Board of Trustees, bringing impartiality, objectivity and collective ownership to the decision-making process.

• Oversee the recruitment and participation of a diverse and experienced Board of Trustees.

Relationship with the Chief Executive and other staff

• Have a close, strong and effective working relationship with the Chief Executive (Lizzie Glithero-West) ensuring she is supported and held to account for achieving agreed strategic objectives.

As well as the above, the Chair will be expected to perform all such additional duties as are reasonably commensurate with the role. The Deputy Chair (Ingrid Samuel) supports and acts for the Chair when she or he is not available.

As Chair, you can be based anywhere in the UK, and while the role is not remunerated, reasonable expenses will be paid to enable you to attend any in-person meetings and events, which will normally, but not always, take place in London.

How will I be supported?

All Trustees will receive an induction to their role.

As a minimum, each new Trustee to the Heritage Alliance receives:

• A thorough introduction to the work of the Trust and the role of Trustees • The chance to participate in supporting the future of the heritage sector • A schedule of formal meetings at least six months in advance to plan around your other commitments

• Opportunities to network with other professionals and like-minded individuals from across the heritage sector

• Exposure to invaluable, transferable skills and a chance to gain experience in new settings • Reimbursement of reasonable costs in line with our Expenses Policy

• Guidance and support on delivering on your legal duties as a Trustee

How to apply

If you are interested in the role and would like to know more about both The Heritage Alliance and our Board of Trustees, please do join us for an informal virtual conversation open to all potential candidates. These will be held on Zoom at the following times:

1pm-2pm on Thursday 8 February register here

11am-12 noon on Wednesday 28 February – register here

If you are unable to attend either session or would prefer a one-on-one conversation, it is also possible to arrange an informal conversation with either our (currently Acting) Chair (Ingrid Samuel) or our Chief Executive (Lizzie Glithero-West) by contacting [email protected].

Please send applications via email to our Acting Chair, Dr Ingrid Samuel OBE at [email protected]. Please also attach a covering letter outlining briefly:

• Why you want to join The Heritage Alliance, and what you would bring • Your relevant skills and experience

• How you would support the work of The Heritage Alliance

• If you require any reasonable adjustments during the candidate process.

The deadline for applications is Monday 4 March. Successful candidates will be asked to interview in person in late March. For advice or support with your application, or to ask any prior questions, please email [email protected]

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