Trustees needed to help us to deliver The Next Chapter

The Devon and Exeter Institution is an independent library and educational charity in the heart of Exeter, founded in 1813.  We welcome new members and visitors of all ages.   In March 2020 we were awarded a major grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for our development project The Next Chapter.  We are an innovative and go-ahead organisation often leading the way in the heritage sector and the cultural life of the City of Exeter.

We have a committed and high-functioning Board of trustees and professional staff who have developed a strategic vision to ensure that:

  • Our outstanding heritage building and research collection is preserved and made fit for contemporary needs and context
  • We are leading as an educational charity by inspiring and engaging with people of all ages and abilities
  • We are financially resilient and enterprising with a growing membership
  • We have a strong employee and volunteer team which is well led and collaborative
  • We offer a diverse and inclusive programme of activities and events and ensure everyone is welcome to get involved
  • We offer an authentic, special and unique member and visitor experience

We are now looking for new trustees to provide longer term sustainability for our Board and who will help us turn our strategic vision into reality over the next five years.

Successful candidates will help to develop an important heritage institution which is increasingly reaching out to the community through learning and engagement, while providing a rich experience for its members. The Devon and Exeter Institution holds a wonderful historic reference library and art collection and is embarking on a strategic capital project to develop the building and to engage the wider community in an ongoing programme of events and activities.   As Exeter has recently become a UNESCO City of Literature, it is a fantastic time to get involved in DEI governance and help us sustain part of the cultural heritage of the city.

We have two vacant posts to fill and we are looking for candidates who may have  backgrounds in the following;

  • Strategic governance of heritage sector sites or historic building conservation and/or heritage funding (for example, National Lottery Heritage Fund)
  • and/or professional/legal knowledge of contracts and managing contractors
  • and/or local business knowledge, networking and fundraising experience
  • and/or finance and accounting qualifications and experience
  • and/or professional experience of managing buildings, particularly historic buildings.

We welcome applications from people who have experience of being a trustee or those who are new to the role. We are very keen to grow and develop new trustees so if you have an interest but are not sure it’s for you we’d love to talk to you! The post is voluntary and you do not need to live in Devon and Exeter or be a current member of the Institution to apply.

There is a commitment to attend regular Board meetings and provide additional strategic or practical support on a regular basis.  Additionally, trustees can both participate in a number of advisory groups, and there are appointments made annually by the Board of Trustees of: Chair of Trustees, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer. Typically trustees need to commit between 5 and 20 hours per month depending upon whether they undertake these additional roles.

Board meetings are held in person and using video conferencing so you don’t need to live or work in Devon to participate! We also welcome people of all ages as trustees.

Further details of the role of trustee are available on our website here: https://devonandexeterinstitution.org/trustees-needed-to-help-us-to-deliver-the-next-chapter/

We particularly welcome applications from disabled or Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic candidates who are currently under-represented on our Board.

If you have experience and skills in the areas mentioned and would welcome an opportunity to join a progressive heritage organisation or to develop your governance skills, please send a copy of your CV with a short note of why you would like to join our team to [email protected]. If you are interested but concerned about any financial barriers please do still get in touch and let us know.

If you would like an informal chat about the role please contact one of our Hon Secretary, Ruth O’Neale on 07958213754.

Suitable candidates have the opportunity to be co-opted to the board prior to standing for election at the annual AGM which is usually held in October.

Closing date: 31st May 2021