16th December 2019

New Chief Executive recruitment

Creative Land Trust's Board seeks CEO to lead the organisation

Job Title: Chief Executive

Responsible to: Creative Land Trust Board

Responsible for: Lead the Creative Land Trust to achieve its stated purpose of securing in perpetuity 1,000 plus creative workspaces for artists and the creative sector

About the Creative Land Trust

In 2014, the Greater London Authority Artists' Workspace Study predicted that up to 3,500 artists' workspaces would be lost in the coming five years. This prediction is set to be borne out.

The Creative Land Trust is a new charitable trust set up to support affordable creative workspace and stabilise the stock we have in London today. Its role will be to buy and lease property, ensuring affordability to artists’ workspace providers through the terms of leases provided to them through the Trust. It has been developed in a partnership between the Mayor of London, Arts Council England, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Outset Contemporary Art Fund.

Similar models exist in other cities, notably San Francisco, where the 'Community Arts Stabilization Trust’ (CAST) has begun to change the city's cultural landscape. The Creative Land Trust will work within the existing ecology of affordable workspace providers in London, supporting these organisations to continue to provide suitable space in perpetuity. It represents an important strand in a range of interventions, including policy and planning interventions, to secure continued innovation and creative production in London.

The Creative Land Trust was launched in 2019 and the Board of Trustees is in place alongside a steering group. The board comprises high calibre, senior professionals from the art, investment, legal and property sectors. To date, an interim team from WorkWild has run the Trust. The team has facilitated the launch of the Trust, set up the charitable companies, agreed a proforma model for the business case, negotiated the funding agreements from the initial funders, set up the Board, and are implementing processes for the acquisition of the first building. We are now looking for a permanent team to be put in place to secure the first building(s) and seek further grant funding and investment, with the help of the active and supportive Board Trustees.

Funding is in place to acquire the first asset(s) and for running costs for the first 5 years.

The Role

The Board is looking for an exceptional leader with energy and drive to continue the establishment of the Trust and help it meet its objectives of creating permanent affordable artist studios. The CEO should have a passion for the creative industries and demonstrable experience of obtaining and securing property in London. The candidate should also have excellent interpersonal skills, the ability to network and be a strong public speaker.

Predominately a strategic role but tactical day-to-day involvement is essential due to the organisational size.

The role will be varied ranging from being the direct liaison for the Board, a strong advocate for the Creative Land Trust, the lead for the investment community to secure future funding, sourcing opportunities including grant money, setting up funding sources beyond the initial grants, overseeing the acquisition of properties and management of the portfolio.

The Chief Executive will be supported by its own executive team (roles and personnel to be confirmed by the incoming CEO) who will provide support across the financial / project management/ property conveyancing aspects as required. The Board will also provide support, advice and access to their networks.

Key Accountabilities

  • KPI and performance criteria will be developed collaboratively but will include:

  • Fund - attaining a mixture of institutional grants, private donations and investment, to build a capital pool of £40m+ over 5 years;

  • Property - building a pipeline and portfolio from a mixture of freehold/ long leasehold acquisitions and (where possible) donated opportunities with the aim to secure 1,000 workspaces across London in 5 years (and a strategic plan in place for expansion outside London from Year 6 onwards);

  • Campaign - raising the profile of Creative Land Trust across London local authorities, at community level, as well as with the property, investment and workspace sectors;

  • Responsible for board papers and presentations to the Board to communicate business performance, portfolio updates, KPI and lead performance monitoring and the rationale and impact on returns of proposed transactions or other initiatives.

  • Set business plans for the Creative Land Trust for the strategic operation of the business, ensuring alignment with short-term and long-term objectives.

  • Work closely with the Board to procure further funding beyond the existing grant funding to include pitching to investors, identify partnership and fundraising opportunities, structuring and overseeing the documenting of agreements.

  • Liaise with the Board to identify market opportunities: source potential opportunities for both the continued funding and acquisition of buildings that meet the criteria of providing 1,000+ permanent, affordable workspaces for artists and the creative sector.

  • Oversee the acquisition and subsequent management of properties: negotiation for heads of terms (alongside legal support), due diligence and financial assessments, legal/conveyancing and approval documents to be present to the board with recommendations.

  • Identify asset management opportunities and additional areas for cross-subsidies for the affordable space across the portfolio.

  • Create marketing and growth opportunities for the Creative Land Trust.

  • Develop government affairs strategies that effectively convey the Creative Land Trust’s mission and vision to the public sector and build relationships with local leaders, regulatory agency heads and key policy makers.

  • Span of control is initially narrow with financial/ accounting, project management and property support roles (to be recruited); this would widen as necessary as the Trust grows through fund raising and property acquisition.


  • Experience in developing strategy and implementing vision.

  • An entrepreneurial mindset with outstanding organizational and leadership skills.

  • Strong understanding of property and ability to make high-quality investing decisions.

  • Familiarity with diverse business functions such as marketing, PR, etc.

  • In-depth knowledge of corporate governance and general management best practices.

  • Analytical abilities and problem-solving skills.

  • Excellent communication and public speaking skills.

  • Ability to work proactively and independently on a stand-alone basis.

  • A strong desire to take on a multi-disciplinary role across charity, finance, property, art and cultural sectors.

Equal Opportunities

We are, of course, an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications regardless of religion, age, gender, race, disability or sexual orientation.

To apply

* Please note that the deadline for application for this role has now passed, and submissions will no longer be accepted *

Deadline: Midday Thursday 30th January 2020

Interviews: First round 12 February 2020, Second round 5 March 2020