Chief Executive


Monday 19 October 5pm

Credit: Epic Fail by Emma Jayne Park. c. Amy Sinead

Monday 19 October 5pm


Salary: £47k per annum

How to apply

Please download and read the Recruitment Pack, and if you meet the essential criteria and feel the role is for you, send a covering letter and CV following the notes from the pack to:  

Imaginate is looking for a dynamic new member of a world class team. Someone to lead, manage, enable, facilitate, develop, instigate, advocate and be a local, national and international ambassador for the benefit of the organisation and young audiences across Scotland.  Working with the Board of Directors, you will lead Imaginate through the specific challenges presented by Covid-19 and into a post-Covid cultural landscape.

The role involves working across the following areas:

  • Continuing to develop a working team, environment and ethos that reflects the core values and methods of Imaginate.
  • Driving forward Imaginate’s commitment to diversity across the organisation
  • Overseeing the development and implementation of artistic and operational plans
  • Taking a lead on environmental responsibility and carbon reduction
  • Ensuring sustainable financial stability for the organisation
  • Overall management and development of the core team

The person we are looking for

The next Chief Executive of Imaginate will be creative, ambitious and lead with compassion and enthusiasm.  Whilst Imaginate is not a representative body for theatre and dance for young audiences in Scotland, the organisation does have a leadership and advocacy position, so the Chief Executive also needs skills in diplomacy and advocacy, working on the basis that a healthy and vibrant theatre and dance for young audiences in Scotland makes for a healthy and vibrant Imaginate.  Imaginate is in the fortunate position of being a member of Festivals Edinburgh and the Chief Executive sits on the board.  An ability to work in a collegiate manner with the other 10 member festivals and networking, supporting and championing the festivals and the festival city is an important part of the role.  Imaginate also has a strong and vital international profile. The Chief Executive needs to work to balance Imaginate’s positon in the city, nationally and internationally to maintain Imaginate’s distinctive position.  Whilst most national and international travel is undertaken by the Festival Director, it is important for the Chief Executive to attend strategic events nationally and internationally to position the organisation, and the children’s theatre and dance sector in Scotland, as a strong and valued international organisation.

Roles and responsibilities

Strategic Planning & Management

  • Manage and support existing strategic relationships with Creative Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council and The Scottish Government as well as various partnerships and memberships.
  • Create new connections and partners.
  • Lead on the organisation’s planning and strategic development in collaboration with the team and the Board of Directors.
  • Collaborate with the team to develop strategic plans.
  • Develop strategies to identify alternative sources of funding from public and private sources.
  • Co-ordinate main Creative Scotland and City of Edinburgh Council core funding applications.
  • Provide support for all project funding applications.
  • Ensure the delivery of all monitoring information required by funders.
  • Ensure all Imaginate projects are properly monitored and evaluated.

Financial Management

  • Prepare annual budgets and cash flows for approval by the Board.
  • Prepare and present quarterly management accounts to the Board.
  • Oversee and monitor project budgets.
  • Ensure reporting systems and financial procedures support efficient financial management.
  • In conjunction with the Board, appoint accountants and approve annual audited accounts.

Operational Management

  • Act as a Director for Imaginate for the duration of the appointment.
  • Write reports to the Board to coincide with quarterly meetings.
  • Manage, appraise and support the development of the core team.

Person Specification

Essential experience and skills

  • Sustained experience of working professionally in a relevant sector in a senior managerial or leadership role.
  • A passion for and commitment to theatre and dance.
  • Experience of a leadership position including evidence of managing teams and of managing staff performance effectively.
  • Positive and productive relationships with major funders (such as Creative Scotland or local authorities)
  • Evidence of initiation, planning and delivery at a strategic level.
  • Managing multiple projects and priorities.
  • Experience and evidence of effective resource planning, budgeting and budgetary control.
  • Evidence of successful project fundraising and of developing strong relationships with a complex range of funders and partners.
  • A proven track record as a strong communicator with excellent influencing and networking skills.
  • Experience of working with a Board of Directors and a sound understanding of governance, compliance and risk management.
  • An inspiring and confident public speaker.

Essential personal attributes

  • Ambition for the future of Imaginate and theatre and dance for young audiences in Scotland.
  • A strong belief in the impact of the arts on children’s wellbeing and education.
  • A creative, resilient leader who enjoys challenge and relishes innovation.
  • The ability to build relationships quickly and effectively.
  • The desire to create a workplace that is supportive and collaborative and encourages personal and professional growth.
  • A passion to lead, motivate and manage in the arts sector.


  • A professional knowledge of theatre and dance for young audiences in Scotland, the rest of the UK and internationally.
  • Experience of managing organisational development and change.
  • Experience of developing and implementing a fundraising strategy.
  • Experience of national and international partnerships with arts organisations.

Downloadable Recruitment Pack for more detailed information.