For Everyone
Who Loves Edinburgh


Posted on 3 May 2017 by Pete

Job Title: Director

 Reports to: Chairman/Trustees

 Engages with: All levels of the Association, internal and external

 Salary: £ 30.000,00 negotiable according to experience

40 hours working week

Pension scheme in place

28 days holidays (inclusive of Bank Holidays)

Open end contract

 Location: Central Edinburgh


Founded in 1875, the Cockburn Association is the Edinburgh Civic Trust. It is a registered Scottish Charity.

The objectives of the Association are to:

* promote the conservation and enhancement of Edinburgh’s landscape and historic and architectural heritage

* encourage high quality contemporary design for buildings that enhance their surroundings

* promote improvement of the aesthetic and functional quality of shared spaces such as public squares, streets and pavements

* support the protection of the Green Belt, important open spaces and good agricultural land from unsuitable development

* encourage the development and proper use of sustainable transport systems, with priority given to public transport, cycling and pedestrian environments

* encourage greater public interest and involvement in planning, conservation and design


There are five key principles which underpin the approach, the behavior and the values of the Association:

* independent: to be an organisation of integrity which is seen as independent of vested interests in terms of strategy, developments and campaigns

* transparent and accessible: open about what we are doing and why, and how we go about our business

* working in partnership: working with others to strengthen our influence and share the load, and building a range of constructive relationships with complementary organisations

* using an approach based on evidence: campaigns, initiatives and commentary based on well-justified insights, expert contributions and robust evidence

* learning and review: to regularly review our progress and impact and adjust our focus and programme accordingly


The Association undertook a strategic review in 2015, which identified three key areas of activity:

* maintain a strong focus on the planning of Edinburgh and its environment, in terms of strategic planning, transport, townscape and design

* identify significant issues of strategic concern and public interest which would be best addressed as the focus of campaigns and/or the pursuit of practical solutions

* develop awareness and education in order to encourage greater public interest and involvement in planning, conservation and design


The Cockburn Association is now looking for a Director who has the leadership skills and capability to monitor and implement the strategy.

Currently, the paid staff consists of an Administrator (4 days per week) and an Assistant Director (3 days per week). In addition, there is some support from volunteers and from trustees. The team is based at 5 Trunk’s Close, in the heart of Ednburgh’s Old Town.

As well as the Council of Trustees, which meets quarterly, there is a Management and Finance Committee and a Strategic Planning and Environment Committee. In addition an Urban Design Group has been recently established with a brief to enhance the Association’s capacity to engage with major developments in the city at an early stage.

Key activities of the Association include:

* Organising / seeking support for the annual Edinburgh Doors Open Day (actually a week of talks and events)

* Chairing the quarterly Edinburgh Civic Forum

* Making representations and objections as appropriate on planning applications

* Responding to government consultations

* Supporting affiliated organisations

* Offering activities and events for members, along with a Newsletter

* Maintaining a social media presence.



Key responsibilities

The ideal candidate will be highly motivated and enthusiastic about the Cockburn Association activities and campaigns. He/She will have the capacity to lead and deliver the key activities of the Association, working with allies, strengthening the membership base, and broadening the constituency of ‘those who love Edinburgh’ through awareness and education. In doing so he/she will take account of the advice in the 2015 Strategy that the Association should focus on doing less in more depth, concentrate on activities which have the potential to make a difference and ensure that the scope of our work is realistic in terms of our time and financial resources.

He/She will pursue a vision of the future of Edinburgh, and an understanding of the competing development, conservation and environmental pressures that exist.

He/she will be actively promoting a positive vision of a prosperous, healthy and enjoyable Edinburgh and pursuing practical solutions.

He/She will be able to demonstrate a clear appreciation of the special character of Edinburgh and its setting, influencing how areas within Edinburgh can be made as attractive, sustainable, and functional as possible, so as to enrich the lives and experience of all those who live and work in, and those who visit the city.

He/She will be capable of leading the Association interfaces, working effectively with partners, stakeholders, trustees, members and our small staff team. He/She will have a total commitment to partnership working but will be independent-minded and committed to upholding the long traditions of impartiality and independence of the Association.

He/She will possess personal qualities of authority, integrity and independence while representing the Association publicly. He/She will be an effective communicator, and passionate about leading and influencing others.


Job Description

The key role of the Director will be to ensure there is a clear focus on the CA strategy and its implementation and delivery, while making any necessary modifications and adjustments as circumstances require. Key tasks will include, but are not limited to:

* lead and manage the work of the Cockburn Association and its committees, and support the roles of the Chairman and trustees

* deliver the strategy and objectives agreed with the Chairman and Trustees

* work closely with key partners and stakeholders, and community groups, on current issues relating to the future of Edinburgh

* make a strong evidence-based contribution with partners across the city to developing visions for the future of Edinburgh

* contribute to educating and informing the public, including working with schools on urban development, heritage and conservation issues

* lead and support work on planning policies, urban development and design, and planning casework

* co-ordinate the administration of the Association, through recruitment, support to staff and volunteers, executing internal policies and procedures, risk assessments and other office reporting, filing and archiving requirements

* oversee the finances of the charity in support of the trustees and ensure compliance ith OSCR requirements, including seeking ways to raise additional funds

* provide leadership and support to staff, managing and organising the office effectively, and making best use of resources


Person specification

Candidates are expected to be able to demonstrate skills, experience, and knowledge against the following criteria:


* strong communication skills, including media communication; communication with key partners and stakeholders and the ability to communicate effectively with members and local communities

* ability to provide leadership and strategic direction for the Association and its staff, including the ability to engage with Trustees and work effectively together

* knowledge of urban design and development, the historical environment and planning issues

* ability to grasp arguments quickly and present material clearly and concisely in writing (e.g. reporting to Trustees, etc.)

* strong management and organisation skills, including understanding of finance, charity governance and IT

* experience of strategic resource and people management, displaying good project management and people-oriented attitude

* understanding of how to use social media effectively is highly desirable and will be valued as a plus


Qualifications and Experience

* the successful candidate will be qualified at first degree or Masters level in Urban Design, Planning, Heritage/ Conservation, Architecture or related disciplines, or possess equivalent professional experience

* he/she will have demonstrable experience in a similar leadership position, or to have led and managed strategies, deliveries and built partnerships effectively in a previous job, ideally in the charity sector

* he/she will have demonstrable experience of successfully generating new ideas and opportunities, as evidence of professional experience, voluntary work or personal interests


To apply

For more information on the role, please contact Joe Taylor on 0131 557 8686 (email or for a confidential discussion please contact the Vice-Chair of the Association, Andrew MacLeod at 0131 667 5663.

To apply for the CA Director position, you are kindly requested to send your current CV, cover letter / supporting statement and completed CA Values sheet form to the following e-mail: Please enclose in your cover letter the contact details of two referees we may want to contact, stating whether you authorise us to contact them prior to the interview process. Please also provide us with an indication of your salary expectations.

Applicants will be shortlisted for interview by matching the details given in their CV and supporting documentation against the job specification. We would therefore ask applicants to provide clear evidence to show how your experience, skills and knowledge match those requirements.

Please note that you will receive an acknowledgement of your application - if you do not receive this please contact Joe Taylor on 0131 557 8686 or by email at

Provided below are the critical dates which will help you plan your diary:

Closing date: 26th May 2017

Shortlisting meeting: 2 June 2017

Interviews Day: 14 June 2017

All shortlisted applications will receive an invitation to attend an interview with a panel. The interviews will take place at CA office in Trunk's Close 55 High Street Edinburgh EH1 1SR .