New Board Members (Financial and Commercial)

New Board Members (Financial and Commercial)

Bluecoat is seeking two new board members: one with a financial background, one with a commercial background.

Bluecoat is Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, offering a year-round programme of exhibitions and a range of music, dance, literature, live art and heritage events.  As conservators of a rich history and ornate building, which marked its 300 year anniversary in 2017, we are also home to around thirty artists, collectives, small arts organisations and craftspeople.

Bluecoat is a charity alongside which we also operate a trading subsidiary, Trading at Bluecoat, which is tasked with generating surpluses to support our charitable purpose.

We used our building’s 300th anniversary to reflect on our past, but also to reflect on this purpose and plan for the future. We want to develop the best possible space for artists, audiences and participants in the arts at the heart of Liverpool and to ensure everything we do is both relevant to the times and excellent in content and execution.

The most significant shift in our work from 2018 onwards will be a sharper focus on artists’ practice. As the UK’s first arts centre our ambition now is to develop an artists’ hub for the North, underpinned by local talent development and linked to national and international opportunities. Alongside this objective, we are also developing a business model which will combine a new heritage offer, an effective trading subsidiary and the expansion of our award-winning participation work into other centres in the North West and further afield. This new business will require capital works to Bluecoat’s Grade 1 listed city centre building.


Bluecoat’s purpose is to:

  • Support diverse artists to develop their practice at all stages of their lives and careers, to engage dynamically with audiences and to communicate the power and value of art to as broad a spectrum of people as possible.
  • Preserve, reveal and interpret the multi-faceted story of our historic building –  making it accessible to a range of audiences through activities, exhibitions, events and digital content in appropriate formats.
  • Help more people find a meaningful place for the arts in their lives, creating safe and inclusive spaces for everyone to engage as audience and participant.
  • Develop increasingly sustainable facilities that will generate income and support from a range of sources in order to support local and international artists and arts participants.


We are seeking a new Board Member with a financial background to:

  • Support the work of Bluecoat in strategic and financial planning for growth and expansion.
  • Ensure the charity understands and fulfils its financial responsibilities and has adequate processes and procedures to plan and manage a major development, in both capital and operational terms.
  • Support the staff team in key financial negotiations with funders and other stakeholders.
  • Extend our networks for fundraising.
  • Advocate for, and raise the profile of Bluecoat within the financial and other professions, by association and through other means.
  • Contribute knowledgeably to strategy development and fulfil the other functions of board membership.

Skills and Experience

With this purpose in mind, the appointment will be someone who:


  • Understands and supports Bluecoat’s purpose (see below).
  • Has a formal financial qualification and a familiarity with charity finances.
  • Has some knowledge of and interest in the arts, artists, arts participation and heritage.
  • Has access to relevant networks and knowledge which goes beyond our existing intelligence in these areas, especially insights that we would find difficult to access directly by other means.
  • Is well networked and influential, with evidence of ambition and achievement.
  • Has ability to contribute some time to the board – a minimum of four, two-hour and one extended meeting a year and attendance at events.


  • Has at least three years’ experience as a Board Member.
  • Experience of audit.


We are seeking a new Board Member with a commercial background to:

  • Bring ideas, imagination and flair to the commercial activities of the Bluecoat, along with experience of successfully running a business or having made a significant contribution to the commercial success of a business or organisation.
  • Support the organisation’s ambition to increase the financial contribution from trading activities and occupiers.
  • Help support a change of culture within the organisation to create a more entrepreneurial and enterprise-orientated approach across all activities whilst bringing the rigour and realism needed to track return on investment for new ideas or services.
  • Extend the networks which can be activated to support the organisation’s fundraising.
  • Bring private sector experience to the Bluecoat, strengthen our capacity in key business areas and fulfil the other functions of board membership.

Skills and experience

With this purpose in mind, the appointment should be someone who:


  • Has a proven track record in managing a successful commercial business or having made a significant contribution to the commercial success of a business or organisation.
  • Has knowledge and experience of the distinctive local business environment.
  • Has the ability to assist Bluecoat in its ambition to create a portfolio of profitable business activities consistent with its artistic vision.
  • Understands and supports Bluecoat’s plans to build an entrepreneurial culture, which will enable it to turn visitors into customers.
  • An interest in and some knowledge of the arts. 


  • Can augment the organisation’s capacity in strategic planning.
  • Has at least three years’ experience as a Board member.
  • Has strong experience of retail, (and/or) catering and hospitality.
  • Has experience of finance and audit oversight.

Meetings of the Board

The Bluecoat Board meets five times a year, four quarterly meetings and one away-day to reflect on existing work and develop plans for the future.  Board meetings are normally on a Monday from 3pm – 5pm, but this is under review as we seek to diversify our membership. Board Members are also asked to apply their skills to specific areas of the organisation’s needs, on Board committees or with the Chief Executive and her leadership team.

Board Members serve for a term of three years. Membership may be renewed once, for a further three year term, based on a three-yearly skills and composition audit.


If you are interested in becoming a member of Bluecoat’s board, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please send a CV or summary of your experience and a statement setting out what you would bring to Bluecoat to:

Closing date: Tuesday 22 May at 5pm

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview.

New Members

While we are seeking two new Board Members immediately, we plan as part of this process to create a panel of people from which future Board Members of Bluecoat and Trading at Bluecoat might be drawn.

Company limited by Guarantee No. 02246627  

Charity No: 700862


Bluecoat has a distinguished history dating from its origins in 1717 as a new building for Blue Coat School. After the school moved to more spacious premises in 1906 the building was occupied by artists and has remained an arts centre with a particular commitment to artists ever since. More can be found at: