Senior Manager Performing Arts

  • Durham University
  • Southampton, United Kingdom
  • Nov 03, 2021
Full time Theatre & Dance

Job Description

Experience Durham

Grade 8: - £42,149 - £50,296 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date : 23-Nov-2021, 7:59:00 AM 

When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas.

The Department and role purpose:

As a Department, Experience Durham is striving to play a pivotal role in developing, delivering and transforming a Wider Student Experience that is as impactful as anything in the world. We remain steadfast in our core commitment to accelerating the growth of far-reaching and market-leading enrichment programmes across performance, participation and community outreach, whilst fostering a culture that safeguards academic excellence. We are guided by the belief that an investment in student enrichment is ultimately an investment in the quality of graduates that the University produces and are motivated by the opportunity to engage and inspire the next generation of talent. In doing so, we feel confident that we are making a positive contribution to the development of rounded, global citizens who are well placed to graduate from Durham and transition onto the next phase of their lives.

The University's Wider Student Experience Strategy highlights the Performing Arts as an area of strength at Durham - but also an area for further growth and development. The post holder will, therefore, be responsible for driving forward the Performing Arts in close collaboration with our Colleges, the Students' Union and academic departments.  A particular focus will be on the further development of our established specialist enrichment units of student music and student theatre whilst the post holder will also be integral to enabling the growth of creative film and dance, both of which are identified as areas where the University can excel in the coming years. As we plan for growth the University's commitment to both Widening Participation and Globalisation will also be very important considerations. The post holder will, therefore, be required to work as part of a team to ensure that all aspects of the Wider Student Experience continue to be opened up whilst also being responsive to the expectations of an increasingly diverse student body.

The development of external partnerships will also be important and so too will be engagement with our alumni. Innovation will be critical to our growth and the successful candidate will be expected to demonstrate a strong background in partnership and relationship building - this will be an important component of the role, both internally and externally.

Whilst there are significant strategic, staff management and external facing elements to the role, the post holder will also be expected to work directly with students and student societies to enable their growth and on-going success. Previous experience of working directly with HE or FE students will, therefore, also be very valuable.

The post holder will also have responsibility for the management of the Assembly Rooms Theatre with the support of both the Student Theatre Assistant Manager and Theatre Technician. This responsibility may, over time, extend to other performing arts facilities as and when they are developed across the University estate. Similarly, the University calendar also includes a range of largescale Performing Arts events which we would like to further expand upon. With this in mind, a background in operations, events and/or facility management will also be very valuable.

Core responsibilities:

  • Provide expert managerial and leadership expertise across the Wider Student Experience Performing Arts.
  • Manage and develop the Wider Student Experience Performing Arts infrastructure and staff performance within the team.
  • Provide feedback on team and individual performance and identify development needs, conducting regular staff ADR and performance reviews.
  • Recruit, induct, train and develop new team members. Help to shape the skills and expertise of future team members and student leaders and design work structures to meet operational and strategic goals.
  • Handle the vast majority of HR issues within a team, referring more complex HR issues to appropriate support services/senior management.
  • Liaise and engage with key internal and external stakeholders and contractors to influence opinion, delivery and reputation of the Wider Student Experience Performing Arts.
  • Contribute to  scoping and resource planning across a range of activities at operational and strategic level.
  • Lead on the design, implementation and monitoring of policy and quality standards, procedures and systems to ensure effective working and continuous improvement across the Performing Arts.
  • Promote and develop a deep understanding of organisational policy and external developments.
  • Devolve responsibilities to team members to ensure continuity of service provision and encourage skills development.
  • Ensure all activities, processes and transactions are accounted for accurately and promptly to meet regulatory and professional service and policy standards.
  • Ensure that all student and wider stakeholder facing staff provide an accessible, friendly and professional service by shaping processes for inducting and developing staff.
  • Implement processes to manage the integrity and security of all commercially and professionally sensitive and personal data.
  • Lead internal business meetings, working groups and sub-committees at operational service level to influence governance, organisational policy and standards for the service.
  • Responsible for allocating and monitoring financial budgets and resources.
  • Analyse student and wider stakeholder feedback, implementing and reviewing Performing Arts provision accordingly.
  • Responsibility for the overall management and oversight of the Assembly Rooms Theatre

Role responsibilities:

  • Develop external relations, identify and develop opportunities for communities of practice, employers, alumni and donors via student enrichment activities and increased levels of participation.
  • Build and sustain an influential network of contacts both internally and externally to influence and promote the Durham reputation.
  • Contribute to the definition, development and implementation of service standards and service level agreements.
  • Deliver a specialist service using creativity and innovation for communication and promotion purposes, to engage and influence internal and external stakeholders including prospective students and alumni.
  • Provide professional guidance and advice to student leaders and individual performers, enabling them to excel in their role and play their crucial part in the delivery and development of the Performing Arts.
  • Represent the Wider Student Experience Performing Arts and the University at promotional events and contribute to the delivery of presentations at conferences.
  • Deliver activities and participate with others to generate external income.
  • Any other reasonable student enrichment duties as requested by the Director.

Specific role requirements

Weekend and evening work will be regularly required - especially during UG term time.

Travel, both nationally and internationally, will also be a requirement on an ad hoc basis.

Working Arrangements

At Durham we recognise that our staff and students are our greatest asset and we want to support the health and wellbeing of all.  Hybrid working supports this ethos and provides many benefits to our colleagues, including empowering people, where their role allows, to work in a manner which is more suitable for them, whilst encouraging our commitment to environmental sustainability.

Depending on the needs of the business and the job role, Durham University is piloting hybrid working for all Professional Services colleagues in the academic year 2021/2022, which may include the opportunity to work both on and off campus and to flex working hours.  If appointed to the post, your line-manager will discuss the specific arrangements with you.  Any hybrid arrangements are non-contractual and may change within the pilot and when the pilot ends.

Reward and Benefits

To support the delivery of the University's People Strategy to attract, retain and reward the very best, we offer a fantastic range of rewards and benefits to our staff, including:

  • 30 days annual leave, plus 4 customary days and 8 bank holidays (pro-rata for part time) and the option to purchase additional leave;
  • Automatic enrolment into a pension scheme;
  • Corporate and local discounts;
  • Wellbeing resources and discounted health benefits;
  • Health discounts on sports and activities at Maiden Castle Health and Activity Centre;
  • Reward and Recognition Schemes;
  • Personal and career development;
  • And SO much more, with further information available here

Recruiting to this post

In order to be considered for interview, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification.  In some cases, the recruiting panel may also consider the desirable criteria, so we recommend you evidence all criteria in your application. 

Please note that some criteria will only be considered at interview stage.

How to apply

We prefer to receive applications online.

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

Information if you have a disability

The University welcomes applications from disabled people. We are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, adjustments will be made to support people within their role.

If you are unable to complete your application via our recruitment system, please get in touch with us on

What you are required to submit

  1. A CV;
  2. A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out in the essential and desirable criteria;
  3. A separate word document on how you meet both the essential and desirable criteria.

Please ensure that you submit all documentation listed above or your application cannot proceed to the next stage.

Contact details

For further information regarding this post, please contact; Quentin Sloper (

Contact information for technical difficulties when submitting your application

If you encounter technical difficulties when using the online application form, we prefer you send enquiries by email.  Please send your name along with a brief description of the problem you're experiencing to

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system.  Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails.

At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.  We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

As a University we foster a collegiate community of extraordinary people aligned to the University's values.  Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University's Strategy and a central part of everything we do.  At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive, and in doing so, recruit the world's best candidates from all backgrounds and identities. It's important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI.

Person specification - skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required

Essential Criteria:

  1. Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally.
  2. Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
  3. Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience).
  4. Professional practitioner with specialist knowledge of at least one core strand of the performing arts and expertise used to influence events and activities within the organisation.
  5. Track record of management and development experience and/or an enhanced management qualification applied across a large service team or teams.
  6. Experience of providing specialist advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues.
  7. Ability to contribute to planning at operational and strategic levels.
  8. Continuing professional development required to maintain professional recognition.
  9. Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines.   
  10. Experience of being able to network effectively and develop strong and productive working relationships, to influence perceptions of the University.

Desirable Criteria

  1. Facility management / operations management experience
  2. Performing arts event management experience
  3. Experience of working directly on student development/enrichment programmes with FE or HE students
  4. Experience of successful approaches to fundraising
  5. Knowledge of both the national and regional Performing Arts landscape including developments within the sector

Realising Your Potential Approach

The Realising Your Potential Approach clarifies the behaviours expected to be demonstrated by all staff across Professional Services in the University regardless of their role. Along with the core responsibilities, role responsibilities and the person specification, the Realising Your Potential Approach behavioural indicators are used to inform the recruitment and selection process. Further information on the Realising Your Potential Approach is available here.

Job Family: Community, Participation and Engagement Services

OUR CHARACTERISTICS: We are a globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, in a unique and historic setting.   

OUR VALUES: We are inspiring, challenging, innovative, responsible and enabling.

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Business, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

It is expected that all staff within the University:

  • Contribute to our learning culture by engaging in mentoring, training and coaching.
  • Positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Have due regard to Health and Safety requirements appropriate to grade and role.

Family key attributes

Roles in this family provide an excellent stakeholder experience for our diverse and supportive community.  

Overall family purpose

  • Provide excellent student support services, development and extra-curricular activities.
  • Align and deliver programmes and activities to meet operational and strategic objectives to enhance the stakeholder experience.
  • Respond to stakeholders at the point of service delivery, either in situ or remotely.
  • Facilitate the development of excellent colleague and academic engagement.
  • Provide a stakeholder focussed service designed to increase widening participation and diversity.
  • Promote the Durham reputation by establishing and broadening national and international community links to enhance the cultural and economic viability of the City and region.
  • Enhance the Durham wider student experience by developing extra-curricular activities.
  • Contribute to and enhance active, inclusive and supportive communities of stakeholders.
  • Work collaboratively and network across the University with staff in other families to ensure a smooth, timely and high-quality delivery of service.
  • Engage with suppliers, consultants and specialist professionals to deliver programmes and activities to enhance the stakeholder experience.
  • Engage and encourage outreach and participation with external professionals, schools, alumni and donors.
  • Engage and network with both internal and external stakeholders to facilitate knowledge exchange and impact through local, national and international communities.  

Link to key strategic plan

  • An economically and environmentally sustainable approach to delivering stakeholder focussed services across the University;
  • A world-class student, alumni and donor experience;
  • Focussed on the needs of all users working together to deliver front-line services as part of the Wider Student Experience;
  • Learn from and match best practice in the Wider Student Experience around the world;
  • Opening up our world-class sporting facilities to local clubs and athletes;
  • Support and facilitate activities as part of the Widening Student Experience at Durham;
  • A stakeholder-focused orientation, offering satisfying careers to all staff;
  • Ensure that an increasingly diverse workforce is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and that all staff are demonstrably valued and actively engaged.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

Application Details

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