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Better Bankside is looking for a director of place to join its team in London.

Better Bankside is seeking an exceptional individual to become our director of place. This is a new leadership role created in response to the growing BID area, a larger membership and increased ambition. The postholder will be responsible for developing a strategic response to environmental challenges and the climate crisis.

Job overview

The director of place will oversee the strategic direction within BB’s portfolio of place based programmes; bankside urban forest, environmental innovation, security and resilience and sustainable travel.

A place’s character is one of its biggest economic drivers. The director of place will have responsibility for the physical aspects of the neighbourhood that contribute to that character and ensure our neighbourhood stands apart, demonstrates resilience and continues to attract investment and talent.

Better Bankside has established and esteemed placemaking and place management programmes. Our core services ensure the neighbourhood is clean, green and safe. But our work goes above and beyond this, delivering imaginative solutions to urban challenges such as air quality and congestion, and implementing creative animation in Bankside’s streets and spaces. Bankside is ‘London’s other side’, and our work stands for that spirit of otherness.

In a post-Covid world, the importance of high-quality open spaces will be heightened. The director of place will take an inclusive approach to the design and management of the urban realm, ensuring Bankside’s network of streets and spaces are fit for the future, safe and welcoming for all. The Low Line, a signature urban realm project for Better Bankside (delivered in partnership with neighbouring BIDs and the local authority), is gaining momentum and will bring positive benefits to the local environment, economy and community. The director of place would be expected to develop the next big public realm idea.

The director of place will support the organisation’s strategic priorities and have shared responsibility for delivery of action plans in the areas of economic growth, climate, and social capital.

Responsibilities include:

  • successful realisation of BB’s strategic action plans – economic growth, climate and social capital, that is in keeping with the vision of the company, providing benefits to members and making a positive impact in our community
  • responsible for strategic oversight of place-based areas of the programme; bankside urban forest, security and resilience, environmental innovation, sustainable travel
  • effectively lead a team including the smarter travel manager, operations manager, bankside urban forest manager, enhancing performance and promoting a culture that motivates staff and encourages collaboration
  • play a key role in the realisation of the low line strategy. Developing and sustaining relationships with partners to ensure alignment and successful delivery
  • working with colleagues, consultants and partners, develop pathway to becoming a climate net zero neighbourhood
  • identify and monitor trends within urbanism and cities, ensuring the BB programme responds with agility
  • play a proactive and strategic role in influencing investment into the neighbourhood, building relationships with developers and landowners
  • work with managers in exploring funding/partnership opportunities and to take all necessary steps to pursue them
  • build and sustain relationships with member organisations to stay close to the evolving needs of the business community and encourage participation in our governance
  • involvement in corporate governance, including participation at board and theme group level and the organisation of the annual strategy day
  • support the CEO in liaising with external bodies, including government and the local authority, to protect and enhance Better Bankside’s profile and influence
  • collaborate with relevant agencies to expand the economic development function for Better Bankside, including commissioning research on the use and prosperity of the Bankside area
  • advocate on place-based policy issues relevant to Bankside e.g. planning and regeneration, climate, transport, security
  • work with the CEO and others to ensure effective and successful delivery of the 2025 ballot campaign

Person specification

We are looking for an ambitious senior leader to drive a world leading programme that cements Better Bankside’s reputation and a progressive and innovative organisation. The director of place will be a problem solver and a creative thinker, bringing forward new ideas that improve the experience of the area.

There is no preference for any particular background, but you need be able to demonstrate an impressive range of relevant experience in the following areas.

Skills and experience:

  • proven track record of strategic place management – with specialist expertise in at least one of the portfolio areas (placemaking, place management, sustainable travel)
  • demonstrate effective strategic leadership – experience in managing and motivating a team at a senior level
  • experience in stakeholder and community engagement
  • experience of successful partnership working
  • experience in influencing at local and regional government and understanding of policy relating to place management and placemaking
  • project management experience – in particular, overseeing delivery of capital schemes including management of contractors and multiple stakeholders
  • ability to work in a pressurised environment and manage competing priorities
  • highly developed networking, advocacy, oral, written and presentation skills that are persuasive and influential with others
  • experience in securing external funding
  • experience in the efficient management of significant budgets
  • highly developed appreciation of the challenges and opportunities facing city districts
  • an understanding of Business Improvement Districts

About Better Bankside

Our vision – powered by the people of Bankside, Better Bankside will be an agent of change, leading positive economic, environmental and social action in our neighbourhood that benefits businesses and Banksiders, now and into the future.

Our mission – we exist to improve the experience of our neighbourhood for everyone. We will achieve this by empowering participation within our community, delivering imaginative solutions to urban challenges, and celebrating Bankside’s distinct character.

Better Bankside was one of the first Business Improvement Districts (BID) in the UK, established in 2004.

We are a partnership of local businesses, working closely with other community stakeholders to co-create a programme of projects and services that benefits the whole Bankside neighbourhood. Our core purpose is to support local businesses and make a positive impact in our community.

Better Bankside is an organisation where you can make a real impact; and where you can expect to get involved in a wide-ranging programme of work. We are a small team of fifteen in the Bankside office, plus our wardens and street cleaning teams.

Working arrangements

Better Bankside offers a flexible working policy. All details can be found on the JD.

Throughout the pandemic, Government guidance has been adhered to with home working supported for those able to do so, and measures put in place to ensure the Better Bankside workplace is Covid secure.

How to apply

At Better Bankside, we celebrate diversity and promote equality and inclusion amongst our staff. We welcome applications from all, regardless of personal characteristics or background.

To apply, send:

  • your CV describing your relevant educational, extra-curricular and employment experience
  • cover letter (max. two sides) outlining:
    • why you want the role
    • how you meet the necessary skills and experience
  • completed Better Bankside equal opportunities monitoring form

to both Nicole Gordon, CEO and Rahima Begum, office manager

Closing date: Noon, Monday 22 February 2021

First interview (via zoom): Wednesday 3 March 2021

Second interview (via zoom): Wednesday 10 March 2021

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