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Director of Practice

Contract: Full-time, permanent (but flexible working and job share arrangements welcomed)

Salary: £60-65,000 or higher for an outstanding candidate

Location: New Local operates a highly flexible approach to work location and welcomes applications from across the UK. 

This role would suit someone with a background in areas such as management consultancy, strategic consultancy, transformation, system change, corporate strategy and organisational development and organisational impact.

New Local is a think tank and network of councils and other organisations working to energise local government and improve public services. At the heart of our work is ‘community power’ – the belief that people should be given the means to transform the places where they live and the services they use. We believe this is key to sustainable, fairer public services and a better society for all. 

We publish research on community power. We campaign for change. And we work directly with public and voluntary sector bodies to help them hand more power and resource over to communities.

In recent months, New Local’s direct work with councils and other bodies to turn the principle of community power into reality has grown considerably. We have created the new senior role of Director of Practice to lead and expand this work.

The role will require the application of a highly entrepreneurial mindset within a strong social purpose context.

Your job will include: 

  • Strategic planning: Developing and implementing a strategy for New Local to expand its practice work.
  • Business development: Growing New Local’s practice work with individual councils and other public and voluntary sector bodies to become more community powered.
  • Delivery: Leading and contributing to the delivery of practice work, in particular, designing and leading deliberative workshops and producing compelling and insightful reports for partners.
  • Partner Engagement: Working closely with partners to develop projects and ensure satisfaction and engagement throughout projects.
  • Innovation and development: Leading the continuous improvement of practice work.
  • Internal collaboration: Working closely with the network, research and communications teams at New Local in the development of their work and the practice work.
  • Organisational Leadership: Playing an active role as a member of the Senior Management Team to help deliver New Local’s mission of creating a community powered public sector and country.

Our ideal candidate will be: 

  • An articulate and knowledgeable connector, who has the understanding and confidence to build relationships and work closely with the most senior officers and councillors working in local government and senior officials working in other parts of the public sector.
  • Strongly entrepreneurial and committed to business development. 
  • An imaginative communicator who can write and speak clearly about compelling ideas for change.
  • A keen planner whose attention-to-detail is proven to keep projects timely and impactful.
  • A champion for community power.
  • A friendly and supportive colleague able to work in a highly creative and collaborative environment that encourages autonomy and excellence from all members of the team.

New Local was founded in 1996 as the New Local Government Network. It relaunched as New Local in October 2020. There is currently a team of 15 staff working on practice, research, communications, influencing and peer-learning with our network of over sixty councils and other partner organisations.  The Director of Practice role will sit in the senior management team with the Chief Executive, Deputy Chief Executive and Directors of Network and Communications. The Director of Practice will report to the Chief Executive.

In addition to the advertised salary, we offer: 

  • A minimum of 27 days’ holiday a year and ten days holiday over Christmas/New Year
  • Highly flexible working and work location arrangements 
  • Regular training opportunities 
  • A number of other benefits listed in the job description.

Wellbeing: New Local is very strongly committed to staff wellbeing. Working long and late hours is actively discouraged and all staff at New Local are committed to creating a pleasant, friendly and supportive environment in which to work.

Diversity: New Local is committed to being an equal opportunities employer. We don’t just ‘value diversity’, we think it is central to what makes for a high impact, successful organisation. We positively encourage everyone to apply. In order to monitor equal opportunities, we ask that the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form below is completed (this is entirely at the applicant’s discretion).  The collecting of this data is part of our diversity strategy, to understand how we can improve equal opportunities for external applicants to New Local.  All information gathered for equal opportunities monitoring is anonymous and then destroyed after 6 months, after which only aggregate data will be held.  Information collected for monitoring purposes will be treated as confidential and will not be used for any other purpose.

How to apply

Please email to your: 

  • CV
  • A cover letter of no more than 500 words explaining what attracts you to the role of Director of Practice.
  • Completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form (if you wish) N.B. all equal opportunities forms will be separated from the application.

If you would like an informal, confidential conversation to discuss the role beforehand with Adam Lent, New Local’s Chief Executive, then please do not hesitate to contact Katy Evans, our Operations Manager, at 


Post advertised   Thursday 13 May 2021
Deadline for applications    Monday 14 June 2021 by 9am
Candidates contacted for interview by Friday 18 June 2021
One hour written exercise w/c 21 June 2021
Interviews 1st round, via Zoom (with presentation)w/c 28 June 2021
Interviews 2nd round (if required), via Zoom w/c 5 July 2021
Start date As soon as possible after acceptance of job offer, notice period allowing.

If you are unable to attend interview(s) on this / these date(s), please let us know when you apply. 

Probation and Notice: This role is subject to a six-month probationary period and a two-month notice period.

Data Protection: New Local will process and store and your personal information (this means any information that identifies or could identify you) for the purposes of recruitment, for a period of up to six months after the closing date, after which it will be securely disposed.  For more information, please refer to our Job Applicant Privacy Notice.