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General Manager

Accountable to:





Board of Trustees

37 Hours per week

The Ecology Centre, Kinghorn loch, Burntisland, UK


The Ecology Centre offers a pension scheme.

About the Role

As the General Manager (GM) of The Ecology Centre, you'll have the opportunity to make a real difference and impact at an operational level or the benefit of the community and the environment. You will take a strategic lead in developing and sustaining the organisation's community-facing services, activities, volunteering, fundraising, and external partnerships, working closely with the Board of Trustees and our membership base. Building on our current strengths, you will lead our competent staff team and the growing number of volunteers to deliver a wide range of grant-funded projects and income-generating activities, including but not limited to, trading from The Nest Café and the employability pipeline in Fife.
Drawing inspiration from our vision, you will instil a sense of purpose and direction for the future, clarifying the organisation’s objectives and inspiring staff to embody our core values. Working collaboratively with the management team, you will be responsible for the overall organisational and program development and preparing reports for the Board of Trustees.
You will support the staff team, encouraging continuous learning and development and ensuring they have the necessary skills and knowledge to meet present and future challenges. You will be committed to the highest standards of operational delivery and will empower trust by delivering objectives in a reliable and professional manner, promoting harmony by understanding and responding to the needs of Centre staff and acting as an important bridge between day-to-day operations and the activities and needs of the Board of Trustees.

As GM, you will be directly responsible for sustainability in all its forms (including, but not limited to, environmental, commercial and reputational) understanding this as an opportunity, driver and risk to the Centre’s successful achievement of its aims. You will be responsible for the profitable operation of the business, both through development and delivery of a robust pipeline of fundraising applications, and through contribution to the strategic vision towards - and delivery of - activities to promote organic growth of non-restricted funds.

To achieve success, you will also build and maintain effective relationships and partnerships with relevant bodies, education institutions, local networks, and other environmental organisations across the United Kingdom, including Project Seagrass and WWF.

Key Responsibilities


Strategic Direction

  • Ensuring that all project activities are consistent with the mission and values of the organisation without ‘mission drift.’

  • Running the day-to-day business of the centre effectively and efficiently by ensuring that the organisation operates appropriate management and governance structures and systems to fulfil its strategic objectives.

  • Securing the organisation’s long-term future, including existing funding streams, identification and delivery of fundraising applications, and developing new and robust income-generating initiatives.

  • Coordinating the ongoing development and delivery of our Business Plan/Strategic Plan/Project Delivery Plan.

  • Enabling the organisation to successfully translate its mission and objectives into an achievable business plan that delivers desired social, economic and environmental outcomes and financial balance.

  • Understanding of all key business processes and ability to communicate progress, vision and risks to the Board of Trustees.

  • Managing relationships with key supporters, funders, media, national and local government and other critical stakeholders of The Ecology Centre

  • Build strong working relationships with the media, PR organisations and the third sector to maintain the profile and awareness of the organisation and successfully promote projects, campaigns, appeals, events, and activities as required.


  • Undertaking the day-to-day management of other staff, including monitoring and recording individual performance in line with performance management protocols and procedures.

  • Oversee the development and implementation of the leadership team, which includes our Estate & Operation Manager and our Education Manager, working to ensure that the needs of staff are met and manage a harmonious and positive working environment.

  • Directing the staff teams in the ongoing development and delivery of existing projects and the creation of new projects.

  • Fostering and maintaining good morale amongst the staff team by ensuring that The Ecology Centre is a good and fair employer.

  • Ensuring and safeguarding the integrity and reputation of The Ecology Centre at all times.

  • Forming partnership and collaborative arrangements where there is an advantage to this, and it is in line with our mission and values.

  • Nurturing and developing a highly-skilled, empowered and highly autonomous team who are motivated and capable of successfully delivering the Ecology Centre range of projects and its mission and business plan objectives.

  • Involving staff team and project participants in the ongoing development of existing projects and creating new projects – an innovative ‘ideas culture’.

  • Ensuring each team member has the opportunity to develop and fulfil their potential and to work with a high degree of autonomy to deliver their projects and activities.

  • Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of all staff members to ensure that the team is deployed as effectively as possible.

  • Ensuring that staff recruitment, management, training and development reflect good employment practices and are directed towards achieving the Ecology Centre objectives.

Financial Stewardship

  • Developing (in conjunction with the Board of Trustees) annual budgets and monitoring organisational performance against these budgets, putting interventions where required to ensure budget targets are met.

  • Ensuring that the significant risks to which the charity is exposed are reviewed regularly, and that systems have been established to mitigate these risks.

  • Lead the organisation to develop robust, challenging, achievable annual budgets and targets.

  • Overseeing (with support from The Treasurer) the organisation’s financial activities, including budgeting, reporting and audit.

  • Ensuring an effective funding strategy is implemented for the organisation in accordance with the Business Plan.

  • Writing and overseeing funding applications identified in funding strategy and project planning

  • Planning and developing self-generated income streams with long-term income potential.

  • Ensuring that financial awareness runs through all parts of the organisation so that financial efficiency without losing quality is an objective for all staff members.

  • Achieving a balance between project delivery and longer-term financial sustainability.

Good governance

  • Ensuring that the Ecology Centre and the Board of Trustees meet all legal and regulatory requirements.

  • To draw the board’s attention to matters it should consider and decide.

  • To ensure that the board receives all necessary advice, guidance and information on matters relating to current performance, the short and long-term future of the Ecology Centre, regulatory and legal compliance and other appropriate issues, making sure that such advice, guidance and information are timely, honest, balanced and relevant.

  • To be accountable to the board for properly and effectively managing the charity.

  • To assist the board in focusing on its governance role.

  • To ensure that management policies and decisions support the agreed mission, values and agreed strategic priorities of the charity.

  • To agree on appropriate methods for monitoring the charity's performance and to report back to the board on the charity's performance compared to the business plan and annual budgets approved by the board of Trustees.

Environment and Ecology

The General Manager will be expected to work with the management team to ensure that environmental values and principles are at the centre of everything that is undertaken.   The General Manager will ensure that decisions and actions are researched with regard to their impact before being implemented and the management team will collaborate to ensure a consistent and informed approach across all of The Ecology Centre's undertakings.

Diversity and Inclusion

As a responsible and inclusive employer, we actively encourage applications from all backgrounds and communities and welcome opportunities to develop a team that is made up of diverse skills, experiences and abilities.

This Job Description and the duties may vary from time to time at the discretion of the Board of Trustees to satisfy the organisation’s needs.

Personal Qualities

Experience in organisation/project & team management, leading and developing a team around you.
Experience in the third sector, ideally within the social enterprise or development trust sector.
Track record of project creation and development
Track record of entrepreneurialism and leadership
Ability to plan strategically and articulate that strategy in business plan, proposal and work plan forms.
Track record of successful fundraising

Experience of the delivery of projects whose focus is on engaging at a local level
Marketing experience
Experience in social enterprise
Experience working within the Development Trust sector
Public speaking, networking and media experience
Track record of project creation and development
Track record of entrepreneurialism and leadership

Skills and Abilities
Strong planning and prioritisation skills, working at pace and managing multiple deadlines
Ability to manage uncertainty and conflict in the workplace and promote a resilient staff-base.
Good networking skills
Collaborative leadership style and the ability to inspire the Ecology Centre staff team
Demonstrably strong time management skills and ability to effectively manage workload, including that of others
A values-driven approach
Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to form collaborative partnerships
Ability to manage all aspects of a project in an effective and balanced manner
Strong communicator with both verbal and written communications skills of a consistently high standard
Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
Methodical and organised in the approach to work, with strong attention to detail
Ability to recognise own limitations and those associated with the post

Ability to problem solve and to use initiative and to innovate as part of problem-solving
Ability to apply leadership experience and skill with sensitivity in a context focused on social and community objectives.
Ability to problem solve and to use initiative and to innovate as part of problem-solving

Qualifications and Knowledge
Educated to degree level in a relevant subject.
A strong understanding of community development and sustainability issues
Willingness to enhance own knowledge and undertake further training as necessary

Qualification in Leadership and Management
Good networks in the third sector
A strong understanding of social enterprise/development trusts
Appreciation of the link between sense of place and well-being

Personal Qualities
Personal commitment to community development
Leadership qualities and a desire to bring out the best in people
Good decision maker
Ability to prioritise
Resilient and flexible
Ability to cope under pressure
Ability to maintain an objective and professional perspective at all times
Ability to produce work of a consistently high standard
Ability to recognise personal/professional boundaries at all times

Other Requirements
IT Literate
The post will require some evening and weekend work, for which time in lieu will be available.

Driving licence

How to apply:

You should submit a CV and Covering letter per the person specification provided within the job Spec. All applications should be submitted to Errin Anderson by email ( by the closing date of 5 pm on Tuesday, 23rd May.
If you would like to have an informal conversation about this role, please get in touch with Errin directly by email.

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