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The lowdown

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Robin Cooper, director of regeneration, community and culture at Medway Council, pitches the position of assistant director for leisure and culture at the council.

Describe the responsibilities of this role.

This is a really exciting opportunity to put Medway the south-east’s largest council on the map as the cultural capital of the Thames Gateway regeneration area.

Who does this role report to?

The role reports to me, director of regeneration, community and culture. It is a new job in a newly reorganised council which now has just two departments, so it’s a high-profile role at the cutting edge.

What is the appeal of this role?

The diversity is immense. It includes: running libraries; looking after two castles, a museum and organising two theatres; responsibility for all green spaces including three country parks; and running all of Medway’s sports and leisure centres. The assistant director will have a lead role in promoting major events, festivals and our summer concerts which this year include Status Quo, Jools Holland, a soul party, the last night of the proms and a young persons’ battle of the bands.

What career background might prospective candidates have?

Certainly a background in several of the areas for which they will be responsible. Experience in change management and a management qualification is also required.

What management responsibilities does the position have?

There are three direct reports with around 400 staff.

What budget will this candidate hold?

In excess of£20m.

What key attributes and skills are required for the role?

Someone who can make a difference and is able to juggle the day-to-day responsibilities while delivering on strategic projects like the£11m centre of sporting excellence. Other projects include making Chatham a World Heritage Site, opening a new national museum and planning for a new cultural centre. The assistant director will work in a department which has planners, engineers, transport specialists, regeneration experts as well as the teams they will be responsible for. They must be a team player, innovative, able to convince and lead, run major projects and get Medway on the map.

What are the future prospects for somebody moving into this role?

Excellent the last candidate went on to become a director in a large unitary authority.

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