Job Title: Trustee
Location: Unknown
Contact Email:
Job Published: March 28, 2018 14:56

Job Description

The Charleston Trust

Charleston is a seventeenth century Sussex farmhouse that from 1916 was the house of two of the most important and influential British artists of the twentieth century - Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. Their uniquely decorated home became the country retreat of a group of individuals know as the Bloomsbury group which included Vanessa Bell’s sister Virginia Woolf, the economist John Maynard Keynes and critics Roger Fry and Clive Bell. Writers Lytton Strachey, TS Eliot and EM Forster were regular visitors.

Today, Charleston is a thriving house museum. The Charleston Trust which runs it is internationally renowned for the way it uses the house, collection and intellectual legacy of Bloomsbury as the catalyst for creativity, discussion and debate. It receives no public funding to support its running costs and each year is entirely dependent on self-generated income.  Charleston runs an extensive annual public programme which includes talks, seminars and workshops as well as the popular Charleston Festival in May and the short story festival Small Wonder in September. During 2018, Charleston opens a destination restaurant and a multi-function auditorium in two Grade II listed barns and a suite of five galleries in a new building designed by Jamie Fobert which will hold a year-round programme of exhibitions.


Charleston has ambitious plans for growth over the coming decade and we are seeking to appoint two new Trustees to join Charleston’s Board of Trustees to support and influence this growth. We are seeking individuals with some or all of the following skills and areas of experience:

·         Accountancy

·         Retail

·         Café, restaurant or catering

As a Trustee of The Charleston Trust, you will have the chance to make a real difference to a friendly and supportive arts charity at a time of significant development. It is essential that you have an interest in the arts and that you are willing to invest your time and energy to supporting Charleston to achieve in its strategic objectives. We are particularly interested in achieving a more diverse Board of Trustees and we therefore welcome applications from all sectors of the community.

Time commitment and renumeration

The Trusteeship is an unpaid role. The Board of Trustees meet quarterly – generally twice at Charleston and twice in London. In addition, it is expected that these two new Trustee appointments will become members of the Business and Finance Committee which also meets four times a year. Trustees serve a maximum of two terms each of three years duration. After this time Trustees step down for a minimum of one year before being eligible to stand for re-election.

Skills / experience

·         A commitment to the aims, objectives and values of the Trust and promoting the activities of the Charleston Trust.

·         An understanding and acceptance of legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship.

·         A passion for the arts.

·         A strong understanding of the opportunities and challenges of an independent and ambitious charity and its Enterprise subsidiary.

·         At least 3 years senior management or strategic level experience in one of the identified areas of skills/experience.

·         Previous charity financial management experience.

·         Enterprise experience including retail, online retail and catering.

·         A strong strategic vision and an ability to support the Executive team in developing Charleston’s 2018-28 strategy.

·         Act as a ‘critical friend’ to the Director and Senior Management Team providing a sounding board for finance work across the organisation.

·         The ability to evaluate, analyse and scrutinise financial information relating to The Charleston Trust and Charleston Enterprises Ltd.

·         Understanding of the social, political and economic issues affecting the arts and charity sectors.

·         Excellent communication and ambassadorial skills.

·         A commitment to equal opportunities and diversity.

To Apply

Further details and a role description can be downloaded from our website

To apply, email a CV and covering letter outlining your experience and suitability to Michael Farthing, Chair of Trustees, c/o Emily Hill, by 12 noon on 20th May 2018.

Applicants should expect to receive an initial response to their application within 2 weeks of the deadline.

Selected candidates will be invited for an interview in June 2018.

Any potential conflicts of interest must be stated in your application.

Please note: we are unable to take applications from individuals who fall into the categories described in sections 178 to 180 of the Charities Act 2011. This includes:

  • anyone who has an unspent conviction for an offence involving deception or dishonesty;
  • anyone who is an undischarged bankrupt;
  • anyone who has been removed from trusteeship of a charity by the Court or the commission for misconduct or mismanagement;
  • anyone under a disqualification order under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986;
  • anyone who has entered into a composition or arrangement with their creditors which includes an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA), and is currently on the Insolvency Service Register.

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