Trustee vacancy – Chair – Association of Cultural Enterprises

Are you passionate about the cultural sector and its role in society? Do you believe in the power of cultural commerce to help organisations survive and flourish? Do you have the skills, experience and vision to lead a dynamic charity that supports cultural organisations across the UK and beyond? If so, you might be the perfect candidate for the role of Chair of the Association for Cultural Enterprises (AfCE).

Founded in 1979, AfCE is the UK’s leading membership organisation for cultural enterprises, providing training, developing and networking opportunities for over 400 cultural organisations, including heritage sites, libraries, performing arts venues, zoos, museums, galleries and more. The Association’s primary role is to champion excellence in cultural trading and enterprise to help our members generate the vital income required to support their core cultural objectives.

As Chair of AfCE, you will provide effective leadership, direction and governance of the Board of Trustees, enabling them to fulfil their responsibilities for the overall governance and strategic development of the Charity. You will work with Trustees and the senior executive team at AfCE to further the growth and successful achievement of its charitable objectives, ensuring the organisation is compliant with regulatory, Charity Commission and financial reporting requirements as well as the prevailing Vision, Mission and Values of the organisation. You will also advocate on behalf of AfCE externally, ensuring that the organisation is recognised as the voice of authority on, and champion of, the essential role commercial activities play in sustaining the cultural sector.

You will have a proven track record of strategic leadership and governance in the cultural sector or a related field, as well as a strong understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing cultural enterprises in the current climate. You will have excellent communication, interpersonal and influencing skills, and a commitment to diversity and inclusion. You will also have a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for AfCE’s work and values.

This is a voluntary role with reasonable expenses paid. The time commitment is a maximum of  20 days per year, including four Board meetings, the Annual General Meeting and attendance at key AfCE events, including the renowned Cultural Enterprises Conference, taking place in 2024 at the ICC Wales on 13-14 March. The term of office is three years, renewable once.

This is an exciting time for the Association. As an Investment Principles Support Organisation (IPSO), the Association is a recipient of Arts Council England funding to help it further support the development of the arts and cultural sector. A new CEO has also been appointed in the last few months, bringing new energy, drive and ambition to the organisation. The role of the AfCE has never been more important within the sector. These are challenging times for cultural venues regardless of type, size or location with the triple threat of ever increasing costs of doing business, the cost-of-living crisis on our audiences, and the ongoing issues with recruitment and over-stretched resources. With the expertise, knowledge, insights, networks and influence within AfCE, the organisation is playing a leading role in helping the sector to not just survive, but to thrive in the face of these challenging conditions.

As a charity championing community and resilience, we know diversity fosters creativity and innovation. We are committed to equality of opportunity, to being fair and inclusive, and to being a place where all belong. We therefore particularly encourage applications from candidates who are likely to be underrepresented in the culture sector. These include people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, disabled people, LGBTQI+ people, and women.

How to Apply

Further details including full information about responsibilities and personal specifications can be found in the Role Profile.

To apply please send your CV and a covering letter explaining your suitability and motivation for the role to by midnight on Sunday 19 November 2023.

If you would like to have an informal conversation about the role, please email our CEO, Gordon Morrison – – and he will be happy to arrange this for you. For more information about AfCE, please visit our website.

This is an exciting opportunity to lead a highly respected and influential organisation, and to make a significant difference in the cultural sector. We look forward to hearing from you!