Patrick Geddes Centre Director

Vacancy posted: Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Salary: 25,000 - 35,000 (negotiable)
Location: Edinburgh

Closing date: 03 February 2017

The Scottish Historic Buildings Trust are in the final stages of undertaking a major capital project to restore Riddle’s Court, a merchant’s house of the sixteenth century and is looking for a Centre Director who will have full responsibility for the Strategic Vision and delivery of the building when it re-opens in Summer 2017 as the Patrick Geddes Centre for Learning.

Patrick Geddes was a botanist, philosopher, sociologist, educationist and town planner who established a university hall at Riddle’s Court at the end of the 19th century.  His leadership in the fields of conservation and learning have guided the Trusts proposals for Riddle’s Court. 

Geddes holistic approach to learning, highlighted in stone above the gateway to Riddle’s Court - ‘Vivendo Discimus’ – by living we learn  has guided the Trust through the development of its interpretation and learning plans which deliver the building as a crucible for learning following his idea that people learn throughout life and engaging with:

  • The heart – by engaging curiosity and our sense of wonder;
  • The hand – by touching, feeling, observing and working directly with a subject
  • The head – by conceptualising, internalising and synthesising ideas derived from experience and reflection

Job Purpose

Working with the Patrick Geddes Centre Advisory Group (of which the PGC Director will be Secretary); you will be responsible for the strategic vision and direction of the Centre for Learning.

With your demonstrable experience of the work of Patrick Geddes you will be able to draw upon your local and global contacts and experiences of Geddes to create a centre for learning which can be accessed both physically and virtually and be the go-to place for anyone interested in Geddes.

You will raise the profile of the Centre and be its spokesperson, developing a media profile through appearances on TV, radio, social media and in newsprint as well as international and academic circles.

You will initiate and oversee the development and delivery of all Learning Activities as guided by the Capital Project Activity Plan prepared for the Trust’s Heritage Lottery Fund Application (and updated) and delivered by the Learning Officer. 

You will deliver the establishment of an interdisciplinary learning community and build an international reputation for the Patrick Geddes Centre as set out in the Audience Development and Marketing Plan prepared for the Trust’s Heritage Lottery Fund Application and delivered by the Audience Development Officer. 


The Patrick Geddes Centre Director has full responsibility for the Strategic Vision and Delivery of the Patrick Centre for Learning, which can further promote the legacy of Patrick Geddes for generations to come and presenting the centre as a leading educational venue as well as promoting its commercial potential.  The Patrick Geddes Centre will develop a reputation for being a 21st century global hub that is accessible to all ages, wherever they live and be financially sustainable.

The PGC Director will report to the SHBT Director and the Board of Trustees, liaising with the PGC Advisory Group whose task is to agree the strategic vision of the centre and annual action plans.  The role will involve direct line management of the Learning Officer and Audience Development Officer who will deliver a range of learning activities and promote the work of the Centre.   The PGC Director will work with the Property Manager, Finance and Administrative/Property staff and volunteers as required.   

The aim of the centre will be to marry content with purpose and where possible, to host a range of activities related to the building’s heritage, learning and the arts throughout the year for a diverse range of users who will include the building’s existing tenants as well as other heritage, cultural and artistic organisations as identified in the Activity Plan. 

The Centre must be able to sustain itself in the long-term and contribute to a viable business and the Centre Director will be tasked with working with staff, volunteers, stakeholders and partners to deliver the Vision.  These tasks include some or all of the following:

General Duties and Responsibilities

To deliver the strategic vision for the Patrick Geddes Centre for learning as updated and agreed with the PGC Advisory Group including annual action plans;

To act as Secretary to the PGC Advisory Committee;

To oversee the delivery and administration of formal and informal learning activities as set out in the PGC Activity Plan;

To oversee the promotion of the PGC for Learning as set out in the PGC Audience Development and Marketing Plan to generate a profile for the centre in all forms of media and make it a destination both as a Centre for Learning and Venue to Hire;

To deliver the establishment of an interdisciplinary learning community and build an international reputation for the Patrick Geddes Centre working with and developing key partner links;

To raise the profile of the Patrick Geddes Centre and be its spokesperson and represent the Trust;

To initiate and publish research studies and other works as set out in the Activity Plan to raise the profile of the PGC and awareness of the work of the Trust;

To initiate and co-ordinate an annual Summer School working with the University of Edinburgh and other partners and stakeholders;

To initiate and co-ordinate an annual Patrick Geddes Day which should be a dynamic and vibrant celebration of Patrick Geddes’ contribution to Learning;

To initiate, curate and co-ordinate a series of GED Talks related to the interests of Patrick Geddes and how these are interpreted in the current world, which will result in published and filmed material which can be used to further promote the work of the PGC;

To initiate and develop the PGC as a venue for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and other festivals held within Edinburgh throughout the year;

To contribute to the successful business plan and model for the centre by generating sufficient paid activities and learning programmes to ensure the long term sustainability of the centre;

To line manage the Learning Officer and Audience Development Officer and other staff as required;

Any other duties required by the by the SHBT Director.


Requisite Qualifications, Knowledge, Experience, Skills

  • A relevant degree or equivalent
  • High level knowledge of Scottish cultural and architectural history;
  • Demonstrable understanding of the work of Patrick Geddes in both a local and global context and a proven track record of bringing both experts and interested parties together to further promote the work of Geddes;
  • Direct and relevant management experience of overseeing a multi-purpose or multi-disciplinary venue or organisation;
  • Demonstrable experience of budget preparation and financial management and an understanding of issues involved in running an organisation with a turnover of up to £500,000;
  • Proven track record in the development and delivery of a range of learning activities and community programmes from planning stages to delivery on time and within budget to a range of audiences and communities;
  • Experience of delivering general and academic papers at seminars in the wider field of culture and education;
  • Experience of researching and producing publications, from technical leaflets to academic studies;
  • Experience of working with all forms of media, from social media through to radio, filming and television;
  • Current driving licence valid for driving in the U K and ability to travel throughout Scotland when required.

Essential Abilities and Disposition

  • Excellent communication skills (written and oral), including influencing/negotiation/persuasion skills;
  • Highly developed organisational skills, an ability to work to tight deadlines;
  • Understanding of and ability to work with other agencies, stakeholders and partner organisations;
  • Ability to interact at all levels; at ease in working with children, young people and learners of all ages and abilities;
  • Excellent team management skills, including team player and team leader, ability to motivate others, working collaboratively and leading by example with fixed-term/temporary/volunteer and other staff;
  • Proficiency in computer technology, including experience of Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint and desktop publishing skills;
  • A flexible attitude and ability to work evenings and weekends as required;
  • Ability to thrive under pressure, be passionate, enthusiastic, tolerant, patient and above all have a sense of humour.

Terms and Conditions

Hours of Work:  Contracted hours will be 35 hours per week

Due to the nature of this post requiring attendance at learning activities, events, other properties and organisations, some evening and weekend working is essential. 

Pension Scheme:  Once you have completed your probationary period, you will be automatically enrolled into the Trust’s Workplace Pension Scheme.  

Contact Name Una Richards
Telephone 0121 220 1232
Contact Instructions Interested parties can send their Curriculum Vitae supported by a detailed covering letter demonstrating how you match up to the role by email to [the subject of your email should read: Confidential Job Application PGC Director], OR send it by post [mark the envelope: Confidential Job Application PGC Director]. Any enquiries regarding the Job can be emailed to
Address Scottish Historic Buildings Trust
The Glasite Meeting House
33 Barony Street

About Scottish Historic Buildings Trust

Scottish Historic Buildings Trust is a charitable Building Preservation Trust based in Edinburgh and dedicated to regenerating historic buildings which are at risk throughout Scotland.

View all jobs with Scottish Historic Buildings Trust

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