Professional Development Opportunity

16 April 2020

Deptford X is recruiting a new Chair of the board

Deptford X is looking to recruit a new Chair of our board to help lead the organisation and support the team to meet the organisation’s ambitions and strategic aims.  In addition to general Trustee responsibilities the Chair will hold the Board and Director to account in upholding the Deptford X mission and vision, providing inclusive leadership to the Board and ensuring that each Trustee fulfils their duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of Deptford X.

The Chair will ensure that the Board functions as a unit and works closely with the Director and team to achieve agreed objectives.

They will act as an ambassador and be the public face of Deptford X in partnership with the Director.


Deptford X

Deptford X is London’s longest running contemporary visual arts festival. It was launched in 1998 as a free, annual, artist-led festival based in and around Deptford, South East London.

Now in its third decade, the festival has reinforced its aim to nurture the creativity on its doorstep through increasing opportunities to take part and presenting challenging and exciting art alongside some of the most creative talent living and working in the area.


Time commitment and expenses

  • The Chair is expected to commit sufficient time to conduct the role comprehensively. A minimum of 2 days a month is estimated and is also dependent on the organisation’s working priorities.
  • Board meetings will take place every 2 months in the evenings at DX. The Board also will have planning and away days in addition to the board meetings.
  • Board members will also be asked to serve on Committees or working groups. Trustees may also be asked to represent DX at external events to promote the activities of the festival.
  • Board members are unpaid but travel and out-of-pocket expenses can be reimbursed.


Principal Responsibilities:


  • Ensure that the governance arrangements are working in the most effective way.
  • Develop the knowledge and capability of the Board of Trustees and appraise the performance of Trustees and the Board on a regular basis.
  • Ensure that the Board of Trustees is regularly refreshed and incorporates the right balance of skills, knowledge and experience needed to govern and lead Deptford X effectively.
  • Oversee all financial activities of Deptford X, working closely with the Director and ensuring that all financial details are regularly reported to the Board of Directors, Arts Council England and other relevant bodies, and to ensure that Deptford X complies with all legal and statutory requirements in the context of Company and Charity Law.

Strategic Leadership

  • Provide leadership to DX and its Board ensuring that the charity has maximum impact for its beneficiaries.
  • Ensure that the Board operates within its charitable objectives and provides a clear strategic direction for DX.
  • Ensure that Trustees fulfil their duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of DX.
  • Ensure that the Board fulfils its duties to ensure financial and operational health of DX, with systems in place to ensure financial and operational accountability.
  • Promote and support the appropriate culture so that the organisation raises sufficient resources from a variety of sources to pursue its aims and objectives.
  • Ensure the Trustees are fully engaged in the organisation’s fundraising campaigns.

External Relations

  • Act as an ambassador for DX and the broader arts and festival sector in which it operates.
  • Maintain close relationships with key stakeholders across the UK, including the various Arts Councils, education institutions, local authorities and corporate bodies, Government and administrations.
  • Represent DX at external functions, meetings and events as maybe required in liaison with the Director and board.

Efficiency and effectiveness

  • Chair meetings of the Board of Trustees effectively and efficiently, bringing impartiality to the decision making process.
  • Ensure that Trustees are fully engaged and that decisions are taken in the best long-term interests of DX and that the Board takes collective ownership.
  • Work closely with the Director and team to give direction to Board policy making and to ensure that meetings are well planned and managed.
  • Monitor the decisions taken at meetings are implemented.
  • Provide guidance on new initiatives.

Relationship with the Director

  • Line manage the Director, including conducting an annual appraisal and supporting their professional development.
  • Establish a strong, effective and constructive working relationship with the Director and the Festival Manager, ensuring they are held to account for achieving agreed strategic objectives.
  • Lead any succession process for the Director.

Personal Qualities

  • Enthusiasm and commitment for Deptford X’s ambition to promote and nurture contemporary artistic talent within Deptford and the surrounding areas.
  • Broad understanding of the sphere in which Deptford X works, namely festivals, art, communities, education and culture in general.
  • A vocal advocate for Deptford X vision and its work as a leading arts festival.
  • Strong and collegiate leader.
  • Someone who is risk aware but not risk averse.
  • Strong networking capabilities and can help to open doors.
  • Understanding of and commitment to diversity in all forms.

Experience Knowledge and Skills

  • Experience of working at a senior strategic leadership level within an organisation, company or public body.
  • Track record of successful achievement.
  • Experience of external representation, including delivering effective presentations.
  • Experience of developing successful partnerships with a wide variety of stakeholders.
  • Experience of chairing meetings.
  • Experience of serving on the governing body of a company or organisation.
  • Broad understanding of charity governance.
  • Strong business and commercial acumen.
  • Track record of successful financial management.

This description is a guide to the nature of the work required. It is not wholly comprehensive or restrictive and does not form part of the letter of engagement.



Person specification:

The chair must be able to demonstrate:


  • A commitment to the purpose and ambition of the Deptford X.
  • Experience of working at a senior level in a charitable organisation, possibly as CEO or chairperson.
  • An interest in arts and culture.
  • A willingness to meet the time requirement for being a trustee.
  • A commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Strategic vision.
  • Local knowledge of the area.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • A willingness and ability to engage and promote the interests of the organisation in both the local and wider community, together with establishing effective relationships with all relevant organisations, stakeholders and partners.
  • An ability to work effectively as a member of a team and to take decisions for the good of the organisation.
  • Willingness to be available to staff, volunteers and other trustees for advice and enquiries.

How to Apply

Please send a CV and a cover letter setting out the skills, experience and networks you could bring to the role, plus why you would like to be the next Chair of Trustees at Deptford X.

The deadline for all applications is 10am on Monday 1st June 2020

Applications should be sent to with the heading ‘Chair of Trustees’