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Company Number 9589499 VAT Reg No 327 0924 09


Certain Blacks is an arts development organisation based in East London. The Company supports the work of diverse artists from many different cultural, socio- economic and ethnic backgrounds, life experiences and life choices.

The Company produces two annual festivals, pop-up and partnership events operating across a range of art forms, including live art, music, theatre, circus, digital and music. Long-term relationships with artists and arts organisations, venues, festivals, and promoters are core to the Company’s mission, securing lasting investment in diverse work for touring and performance in the UK and beyond.

Certain Blacks is a Company Limited by Guarantee; its non-profit objectives are:

  • Support the creative development and promotion of diverse artists.
  • Challenge assumptions about their work and the audiences that see it.
  • Support and develop platforms where diverse work can be experienced, including outdoor festivals, in regional and national venues and digitally.In April 2023, Certain Blacks became an Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisation and will receive regular funding until March 2026. The organisation is part of the artistic directorate of Without Walls, a national commissioning network for Outdoor Arts and regularly works in partnership with The Royal Docks and London Bougher of Newham.

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Certain Blacks is led by founding CEO / Artistic Director Clive Lyttle, who is supported by two freelance part-time Producers (executive and assistant)

The organisation is now undergoing a period of growth and looking to develop its organisational capacity and staffing structure, including a part-time Marketing and Sponsorship role and a part-time General Manager, both PAYEE roles.

Job Description Post
General Manager Reports to:

CEO / Artistic Director and Board

Main Contacts:

CEO / Artistic Director, social media/Marketing Officer (to be appointed), Freelance PR, Freelance Festival Producers, Associate Producers and Festival Trainees.


To support the Company’s strategic growth and functional development, establishing policy and implementing comprehensive processes to ensure ongoing sustainability and financial viability.

Main Responsibilities: Strategic Management

  • Work with the CEO/Artistic Director (AD) to devise, develop and implement the organisation’s Business Plan, and Outputs, and Investment Principles as agreed with Arts Council England.
  • Review and update company policies and procedures (such as Safeguarding and Risk Assessing) to ensure robust systems, best practices, and current legislation compliance.Financial Management

• With the AD, prepare the annual budget for approval by the Board.

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Work with the AD to ensure that budgets are appropriately set and met, that effective financial systems and procedures are in place and that revenue is maximised with timely and accurate reporting to the Board.

  • Develop, maintain, and monitor policies and procedures to promote best practice, ensuring that the Company conforms to all financial, legal, statutory, and contractual requirements.
  • Collect data and monitoring information required by ACE for NPO funding and by other funders as required, and oversee the delivery of quarterly returns and annual submissions.
  • Contribute to company fundraising activities where necessary. Relationship Management
  • Foster strong, effective relationships with key partners, including core funders and commissioning partners.
  • Act as a key company spokesperson when required, representing the Company in various contexts, e.g., with the press, funders, local and national partners, coproducers and industry forums.
  • With the Artistic Director, manage and deliver HR, ensuring policies and procedures align with current legislation.
  • Be a supportive, effective line manager of freelance workers and trainees where appropriate, ensuring the Company’s policies and procedures are met, enabling an open and dynamic work environment welcoming diversity.
  • Ensure that freelance staff are motivated, supported and trained to deliver the Company’s artistic and business objectives.
  • Ensure all employees, freelance workers, volunteers, audiences, and participants are safeguarded.General Management
  • With guidance from the Artist Director, negotiate, prepare, and issue contracts and agreements with contractors and freelance staff.
  • Prepare agendas, schedule and attend all meetings of the Board and any committees/sub-committees established, recording and distributing minutes.
  • Support the Chair and Artistic Director in appointing any new trustees as appropriate.
  • Negotiate the terms of service agreements (utilities, IT support, etc) regarding value for money, effective delivery, and environmental sustainability.
  • Ensure that overall company infrastructure, including administrative and IT systems and premises, are maintained, complying with legal requirements, including Health and Safety Legislation.
  • Act as Data Protection Officer and ensure that all procedures comply with relevant legislation, are up to date and communicated effectively.This list of responsibilities is not exhaustive, and the General Manager will be expected to perform any other duties consistent with the role of the General Manager or any other duties reasonably required by the Board.PERSON SPECIFICATION – GENERAL MANAGER Experience
  • Devising and implementation of policy and business planning
  • Experience in financial management and budget control.
  • Production and presentation of financial reports
  • Marketing, digital management and promotion
  • Management and administration in a busy, creative arts environment.
  • Board / Steering Group servicing in a not-for-profit environment and takingminutes.Knowledge and Skills
  • Excellent communication and advocacy skills, both oral and written
  • A detailed knowledge of financial procedures and systems and awareness ofrelevant legislation.

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  • Organisational and administrative skills and the ability to establish robust working systems.
  • Understanding of a broad range of administrative functions, including Human Resources, Data Protection, Contracting and Governance.
  • Familiarity with Arts Council procedures and reporting for National Portfolio Organisations
  • Managing and maintaining relationships with a wide range of external bodies, public and private, large and small, corporate and voluntary; a particular understanding of working relationships with artists and creative organisations
  • Marketing and Audience Development and Business / Strategic Planning experience.
  • Ability to plan and organise own workload, meet deadlines and work under pressure with initiative.
  • Knowledge of the creative industries and UK Outdoor Arts sector
  • An understanding of not-for-profit company structures and the role of a Boardof Trustees.
  • Computer literacy and strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office and otherstandard programs.Personal Attributes
  • Highly motivated, proactive, and committed to best practice and continuing professional development.
  • Commitment to company ethos and diverse arts practice
  • An understanding of and commitment to diversity and inclusion andenvironmental responsibility
  • Enthusiasm for and commitment to the arts.
  • A positive and enthusiastic approach to work and its challenges.
  • Quick thinker with flexible and adaptable operational skills.TermsThis is a part-time fixed-term contract running until March 26 with a four-month probation period.

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Contract – 3 days per week (21 hours)
Salary (payee) 30k – 34k pro rata (dependent on experience)

Based in the Certain Blacks Office, at Unit 16d, The Factory, 5A and 5Pt Thameside Ind Estate, Factory Road, E16 2HB, with some remote working and weekend/evenings as appropriate.

How to Apply

Please send a CV and cover letter outlining your relevant experience and how your skills match the person spec to

  • Closing Date: November 20
  • Interviews: w/c 27 November
  • Start Date: January 24 (dependent on availability)

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