Strategic Lead Role – Candidate Brief

Light Up The North

Now closed

Freelance Role
Fee: £10,350
Fixed Term: May 2022 – December 2022

We are looking for someone with the appropriate skills and experience of working at a strategic level to join us in developing the Network’s profile and partnerships nationally and internationally. This is a new role funded by Arts Council England.

Light Up the North (LUTN) is the first network of its kind in the UK, originally bringing together 6 light festivals across the North to work together on a range of strategic initiatives. Launched in 2014, our vision is for LUTN to be recognised nationally and internationally as an exemplar of partnership working and as a centre of excellence and best practice for creativity in light art.

We have been successful in securing Arts Council funding to support the next exciting development stage for the Network. As we emerge out of the pandemic, we are now ready to:

– strengthen our engagement with the wider light festival and cultural sectors- test a network model that can support a wider membership and secure new income

– share our expertise and learn from others using a range of platforms

– grow the benefits to artists and audiences through innovative CPD projects like SHINE and LightLab, collaborations and partnership working on co-commissioning and touring opportunities nationally and internationally.

Our aim is for LUTN to be a sector-leading network (based in the North) in advancing the light festival sector, supporting the development of artists, production staff, programmers and technical innovations.

Current Partner Organisations 

    • Lightpool, Blackpool Illuminations & Grundy Art Gallery – Blackpool Council  
    • Light Night Leeds – Leeds City Council
    • Light up Lancaster – Lancaster City Council
    • Lumiere – Artichoke & Durham County Council
    • Lightwaves – Quays Culture, Salford Culture & Place Partnership.

The purpose of the LUTN Strategic Lead is to drive the growth and development of this network during a crucial period of its evolution working closely with the LUTN Chair and the core LUTN Network partners. The Strategic Lead will focus on key areas of development that the volunteer network have limited capacity to deliver on.

The Strategic Lead role is funded through Arts Council England and is fundamental to how LUTN develops its approach going forward. The Strategic Lead will report on a day to day basis to the Head of Arts at Blackpool Council as the council is the accountable body to ACE for the funding. The appointed freelancer will enter into a contract with Blackpool Council for the fee and work programme to be delivered. Regular update meetings between the Strategic Lead, the line manager at BC and the Chair of LUTN will be timetabled in from the start date.

What does the role entail?

As the Strategic Lead has a limited number of days to work with the Network, your time will be focussed on the following:

    • Leading on a scoping exercise identifying existing and potential new partnerships between festival partners, the HE sector and/or the private sector seeking and where possible securing new collaborations to innovate for LUTN going forward in 2023.
    • Working with the Co-commissioning Sub-Group and leading on a scoping exercise identifying national and international partnerships with other outdoor festivals and local authorities starting to develop light festivals in their towns and cities. Identifying and developing partnerships that have the potential to deliver new touring commissions for 2023 and beyond.
    • Working with the LUTN Membership Sub Group to test out an agreed new model for the Network including an Associate Members structure, advocating to potential new network partners to secure an essential new revenue income stream.
    • Undertaking targeted advocacy and relationship building nationally and internationally guided by the Network partners.
    • Identifying and initiating learning opportunities from national and international festivals, including commercial ticketed winter light trails, via visits/meetings to share practice.
    • Providing regular written updates and reports for Network meetings as requested by the Chair.

We see the Strategic Lead working over an intense period of 6 to 8 months spreading 32 days out accordingly and in line with what is best for delivering what is required.

What will you bring to the role?

As the LUTN Strategic Lead you will have:

    • Experience of working on the development of light festivals and commissioning artists to create new work for diverse outdoor locations.
    • The ability to be highly organised and focussed on the core tasks you are required to progress as the Strategic Lead.
    • The skills of a good communicator and advocate able to work with people at a strategic level and broker collaborations and partnerships with a diverse range of organisations.
    • A self-starter capable of working independently.
    • Experience of overseeing business and organisational development.
    • Experience of writing and delivering strategic plans and funding bids.
    • Experience of managing successful projects with multiple stakeholders and timelines.

You may also have:

    • Experience of collaborating with or working within the higher education sector, and local authorities.  
    • Experience of brokering partnerships with the private sector.
    • Experience of reporting to a non-executive board previously.

Freelance fee: £10,350

Daily rate of £300 for 32 days

With a budget of up to £750 to cover travel to meet potential partners.

How to apply

Please send a CV, 2 relevant and most recent references and a covering letter, demonstrating your suitability for the role based on the requirements listed under the section ‘What does the role entail’ with examples of your skills, knowledge and experience.

Contact information

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact:

Jennifer Taylor, Programme Producer, Quays Culture and Chair of LUTN

Tel: 0161 876 2097 M: 07528 369652


Criminal record information

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

A criminal record check is not required for this position. However, all applicants will be required to declare if they have any ‘unspent’ criminal offences, including those pending.

Closing date: 12 noon, Monday, 4th April 2022

Interviews to be held: Tuesday, 12th April (online)

Start date: May 2022

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