Theatres Trust - Chair and 5 x Trustees

Body: Theatres Trust
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sector: Culture, Media & Sport
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: Chair and 5 Trustees
Remuneration: No
Time Requirements: See person specification for each role

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    23/08/2021 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is seeking to appoint an individual with the experience and skills to Chair the active and engaged Board of the Theatres Trust, the UK’s national advisory body for theatres. The Secretary of State is also seeking to appoint five individuals as new Trustees to join the Board.

We strongly encourage women, people with disabilities and people who are from ethnically or culturally diverse backgrounds from across the UK to apply as the Trust is keen for the Board and its work to be informed by and representative of the diverse communities it serves.

Over the last six years the organisation has undergone a significant process of transformation to raise its profile and impact as the lead body protecting and promoting theatres across the UK.  The new Chair would work with the Director and other Trustees to build on the Trust’s dynamic new focus and energy and lead the organisation through the next exciting phase of its development.

To find out more about the work of the Theatres Trust, please watch this video.

Person Specification

Chair of the Theatres Trust

The Trust’s Chair promotes good governance by ensuring that the Board of Trustees effectively performs its principal tasks of:

  • Commenting on/approving policy matters, the Trust’s three year plan, and the content of its annual report
  • Ensuring that proper financial, administrative and legal arrangements are in place
  • Employing and supporting the Director with the authority to carry out the day-to-day management of the Trust’s affairs


In addition, the Trust’s Chair will:

  • Work with the Director and the wider Board to develop and deliver the Trust’s strategic direction and goals
  • Represent the Trust along with the Director in its relations with its key stakeholders
  • Chair the meetings of the Board of Trustees, of its Annual General Meeting, and of the Annual General Meeting of the Trust’s Charitable Fund
  • Play an active role in the appointment of Trustees so as to ensure the balance of skills and experience necessary for the Trust to operate effectively


Assessment criteria

Candidates for the Chair role will need to demonstrate in their application how they meet the following essential criteria:

  • Understanding of and commitment to promoting the aims and objectives of The Theatres Trust as the national advisory public body for theatres;
  • Ability to act as an authority, advocate and leader in the cultural sector or theatre industry with an excellent track record of governance;
  • Clear knowledge and understanding of issues affecting theatres across the UK and appreciation of their value in planning, regeneration and development, architecture and design, the environment and heritage;
  • Effective personal and communication skills, allied to an ability to be objective, listen, inspire and motivate;
  • An understanding of and commitment to the need for promoting cultural diversity and inclusion in the leadership and delivery of Theatres Trust’s work


The Chair will attend four Council Meetings per annum and any Extraordinary Meetings should they be required. There are currently two sub-committees, the Executive Committee and the Fundraising Committee, which each meet four times a year and are chaired by the Deputy Chair and another Trustee respectively. The Chair may opt to attend some / all of these meetings as they see fit. Additionally, the Chair and Director will be in frequent communication and the Chair is expected to attend the Annual Conference, the annual Theatre Buildings At Risk Register announcement, ad hoc days to support fundraising and other events and interviews for new Trustees.

Candidates should also demonstrate a clear understanding of any potential for conflicts of interest between their role as Chair and their own professional activity and how they would manage such a conflict if it arose.

The appointment is for an initial term of three years and is expected to be effective from a mutually convenient date in late 2021.

Trustees of the Theatres Trust

The chief role of the Trustees is to assist the Chair in meeting the Board’s overall responsibilities, in accordance with their statutory and charitable duties.  Advice and guidance on these duties will be provided as part of induction.

The Board of Trustees offers guidance and expertise to the Executive (the Director and staff of Theatres Trust).

Assessment criteria

Theatres Trust is seeking five Trustees with experience and skills in one or more of the following areas:

  • Performer or creative professional in the UK live performance sector with an excellent public and industry profile
  • Theatre Producer or Executive Producer with an excellent industry profile
  • Planning lawyer with familiarity of policy and processes affecting the heritage and culture sectors
  • Arts press or media journalist with knowledge / experience of theatre / live performance


Candidates for the Trustee roles will also need to demonstrate in their application how they meet the following essential criteria:

  • An understanding of and interest in the aims and objectives of Theatres Trust.
  • An advocate for Theatres Trust with an ability to actively promote its work to wider networks.
  • An understanding of and commitment to the need for promoting cultural diversity and inclusion in the leadership and delivery of Theatres Trust’s work.


There are 4 Board meetings each year and certain Trustees may on a voluntary basis sit on the 2 sub-committees Executive Committee and Fundraising Committee, which each usually meet 4 times a year. Other involvement is voluntary and on an as needed basis e.g. if the Executive seeks advice on given topics from particular Trustees.

The appointment is for an initial term of three years and is expected to be effective from a mutually convenient date in late 2021.

We strongly encourage women, people with disabilities and people who are from ethnically or culturally diverse backgrounds from across the UK to apply as the Trust is keen for the Board and its work to be informed by and representative of the diverse communities it serves.

Additional Information

Theatres Trust is the national advisory public body for theatres.  We believe that current and future generations should have access to good quality theatres where they can be inspired by and enjoy live performance.  We champion the future of live performance, by protecting and supporting excellent theatre buildings, which meet the needs of communities across the UK.

Established by the Theatres Trust Act 1976 and the Theatres Trust (Scotland) Act 1978 ‘to promote the better protection of theatres’ the Trust is a statutory consultee on planning. Local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales are required to consult the Trust on planning applications for all theatres.

We promote great theatre buildings by advising, funding and campaigning on behalf of theatres across the UK.  With expertise in architecture, heritage, planning and theatre management, each year we support more than 350 theatres, local authorities and community groups to create, adapt and save their local theatre as a valuable resource at the heart of the community.

Prior to the pandemic, every year more than 5million people attended theatres we support.

We create theatres
We have supported the development of new theatres including HOME in Manchester, Streatham Space in London and the Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock.

We save theatres
We have helped save more than 80 theatres at risk since 2006, including Wilton’s Music Hall in London, Tyne Theatre and Opera House in Newcastle and the New Theatre Peterborough.

We adapt theatres
We have provided advice and support that has helped theatres to meet the changing needs of their communities, including Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London, Liverpool’s Royal Court and York Theatre Royal.

Theatres Trust  – The Last Six Years

Over the last six years the Trust has significantly raised its profile, both in the press and media and through improved engagement with key stakeholders across the theatre, planning, and heritage sectors and with national and local government.  This has raised awareness of the Trust’s unique role in supporting the entire ecology of theatre buildings across the UK and a better shared understanding both at a policy and operational level of the vital role of theatres as both artistic and community hubs.

As a result the Trust has been able to build upon its statutory planning role and is now recognised as an effective advocate for the sector and increasingly sought after as a trusted partner and source of expert advice by policy makers and theatre owners and operators across the commercial, subsidised, amateur and local authority sectors.

The Trust has also increased its fundraising and grant giving and run a number of new initiatives to support Theatres at Risk, to improve accessibility of theatres and to support more sustainable theatre buildings.  An expanded programme of stakeholder engagement events has included inspiring annual conferences examining how the changing role of theatres contributes to healthy, inclusive communities, placemaking, regeneration and the night-time economy.

The Covid pandemic has seen the Trust further expand its role over the last 10 months.   The Trust has played a key role in engaging with government around support and guidance for the sector.  An extended advice programme, including in-depth 1-1 advice for theatre operators, a range of webinars and advice sheets, has ensured theatres are best equipped to navigate the crisis.  Alongside this the Trust successfully argued for important changes to planning policy to ensure greater protection for theatres at this challenging time.  

The Trust has also been a major voice advocating for the sector.  Since the start of the pandemic, Theatres Trust as a trusted unbiased authority on theatres, has been quoted in more than 4,000 media stories, across national and regional newspapers, TV, radio and arts press.  Additionally fundraising has grown dramatically.  During 2020 the Trust has raised just under £2.4 million to directly support theatres throughout the UK and offered £300,000 in grants to help theatres with the costs of reopening within Covid-safe guidelines.

How to Apply

To apply, please send:

  • a CV of not more than two sides of A4;
  • a supporting statement of not more than three sides of A4, providing examples and setting out how you meet the criteria;
  • the Diversity Monitoring Form concerning your personal information and political activity and;
  • the Declaration of Conflicts of Interests Form.


Completed applications should be sent to:

Please put ‘Theatres Trust’ in the subject title and indicate which role you are applying for, including the specific Trustee role. If applying for the Chair role, please indicate whether you wish to be considered for a Trustee role, again specifying which of the Trustee roles you wish to be considered for.

If you have any questions about the appointments process, please contact Phil Hodges, Campaign Manager at DCMS ( 

Diversity and inclusion

DCMS values and cares passionately about the diversity of it’s public appointments. Boards of public bodies should reflect our diverse society in order to ensure the sector has a leadership that draws fully on the different skills and perspectives our country has to offer.

We particularly welcome applications from women, those with a disability, and those from a black or ethnic minority background. We encourage applications from people who live outside London, from any professional background, and of any age group.

We ask all applicants to complete a diversity monitoring form. We hope you will help us by providing this information. Your data is not disclosed to the panel, but allows us to constantly evaluate any potential barriers to becoming a public appointee and whether there are any changes we could make to encourage a more diverse field to apply.

Disability Confident

We guarantee to interview anyone with a disability whose application meets the minimum criteria for the role. By ‘minimum criteria,’ we mean that you must provide evidence in your application, which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under each of the essential criteria.

If you want to apply under this scheme, simply state this in the covering email or letter when submitting your application.

Reasonable adjustments

If you would like a confidential discussion regarding any reasonable adjustments during the process, please also indicate this in the covering email or letter.  

About DCMS

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) helps to drive growth, enrich lives, and promote Britain abroad. We protect and promote our cultural and artistic heritage and help businesses and communities to grow by investing in innovation and highlighting Britain as a fantastic place to visit. We help to give the UK a unique advantage on the global stage, striving for economic success. DCMS is a ministerial department, supported by 45 agencies and public bodies. 

If you are not completely satisfied

We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy. If you have any complaints about the way your application has been handled, please contact

Supporting information

This process is regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ (OCPA‘s) Code of Practice. All applicants are expected to have adhered to the Seven Principles of Public Life. 

Eligibility Criteria

You cannot be considered for a public appointment if:

  • you become bankrupt or make an arrangement with a creditor
  • your estate has been sequestrated in Scotland or you enter into a debt arrangement programme under Part 1 of the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 17) as the debtor or have, under Scots law, granted a trust deed for creditors;
  • you are disqualified from acting as a company director under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986;
  • you have been convicted of a criminal offence, the conviction not being spent for the purposes of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (c. 53);
  • you become subject to a debt relief order or a bankruptcy restrictions order;
  • you fail to declare any conflict of interest.


Conflicts of Interest and Due Diligence

If you have any interests that might be relevant to the work of the Theatres Trust, and which could lead to a real or perceived conflict of interest if you were to be appointed, please provide details in your application. If you have queries about this and would like to discuss further please contact the Public Appointments Team.

Given the nature of public appointments, it is important that those appointed as members of public bodies maintain the confidence of Parliament and the public. If there are any issues in your personal or professional history that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment, or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the Advisory Assessment Panel and provide details of the issue(s) in your application. In considering whether you wish to declare any issues, you should also reflect on any public statements you have made, including through social media.

As part of our due diligence checks we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This will include us undertaking searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. This information may be made available to the Advisory Assessment Panel and they may wish to explore issues with you should you be invited to interview. The information may also be shared with ministers and the Cabinet Office.

Final Theatres Trust Chair and Trustees Role Specification 2021
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