Better Bankside is hiring a director of place to join its team in London.
Better Bankside is seeking an exceptional individual to become our director of place. The post holder will be responsible for developing a strategic response to urban challenges and the climate crisis, leading and motivating a team of specialist place professionals in the design and delivery of an innovative programme.
The director of place will form part of the senior executive, working alongside the director of communications and engagement with responsibility for distinct but complementary portfolios. The director of place will oversee the strategic direction within BB’s portfolio of place based programmes, including Bankside urban forest, environmental sustainability and innovation, and security and resilience, reporting to the CEO. As head of the place team, the post holder will lead and motivate a strong and capable team of four direct reports – placemaking manager, public realm manager, resilience and crime reduction manager and sustainability manager.
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.
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, the local authority and landowners), is gaining momentum and will bring positive benefits to the local environment, economy and community. The director of place will work collaboratively with partners to drive action on the Low Line and develop a pipeline of initiatives.
The director of place will support the organisation’s strategic priorities and have shared responsibility for development and delivery of action plans in the areas of economic resilience, climate and social capital. The post holder will support the CEO, both strategically and operationally, and will work alongside the director of communications and engagement to ensure that the Better Bankside team works cohesively and proactively.
Meaningful participation is in our DNA. The post holder will promote good governance and encourage engagement from members and seeking new ways to involve the Bankside community in the co-creation and ideation of our programme.
- successful realisation of BB’s strategic action plans – economic resilience, 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 sustainability and innovation; effectively lead the place team, enhancing performance and promoting a culture that motivates staff and encourages collaboration
- play a lead role in the realisation of the Low Line strategy, developing and sustaining relationships with partners to ensure alignment and successful delivery of projects
- oversee procurement of major contracts relating to place management
- in partnership with local stakeholders develop and implement solutions to evolving place management challenges
- working with colleagues, consultants and partners, develop projects and initiatives to build pathways for commercial carbon emissions reduction and energise climate action amongst local businesses
- 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
- coordinate business planning process and end of year reports to the board;
build and sustain relationships with member organisations to stay close to the evolving needs of the business community and encourage participation in our governance
- develop and manage the framework for staff development (eg. team meetings, away days, regular development meetings, individual training and development opportunities) which help to rally a passionate team around common goals
- involvement in corporate governance, including participation at board and theme group level and the organisation of the annual strategy day
- advocate on place-based policy issues relevant to Bankside eg. planning and regeneration, climate, transport, security
- 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
- support the CEO in liaising with external bodies, including government and the local authority, to protect and enhance Better Bankside’s profile and influence
- work with the CEO and others to ensure effective and successful delivery of the 2025 ballot campaign
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 to 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 environments)
- 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
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.
As a BID, we are funded by a mandatory levy on businesses within a defined boundary. BIDs are established through a ballot process and every five years must return to their members to secure a majority vote in favour of their continuation. Our last ballot took place in November 2019, achieving overwhelming support from the business community, with 92 per cent voting for another five years of Better Bankside.
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. The way that we work with our members through our governance structure provides an extended network of regular collaborators and contributors.
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 offers a flexible working policy. Core hours are 10 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday, with the ability to flex two hours to suit personal needs. Some evening and weekend work will be required in accordance with the needs of the post. Due to the nature of our work it is expected that a minimum of three days per week will be based in the office with up to two days working from home.
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.
Closing date: Midday 27 November 2023
Interview: 5 December 2023