Director of Arts
Country / Territory
Job Category
Pay Band
Senior Leadership Band
Vacancy Description
Pay band: Senior Management Broadband – Enterprise Leadership Location: London Contract type: 4 Year FTC Requirements: Candidates must have the right to work in the UK Closing date and time: Sunday 9th February 2020 (23:59 UK Time)

Please note that in December 2020, the British Council will relocate its new global headquarters to: International Quarter, Stratford, London E20.


About us:


The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.  We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.


We are a global team, comprised of seven specialist art form teams based across the UK, and seven regional teams, who provide valuable insight and knowledge about cultural sectors on the ground.


Our aim is to create new relationships between artists, organisations and audiences to develop stronger creative sectors around the world. We help artists to break new ground, support creativity and innovation, increase capacity by building skills to support livelihoods and cultural enterprise, extend safe spaces for creative exchange, and contribute to research and policy. 

Arts is part of a wider, recently-established grouping within the British Council – alongside Education and Society – called Cultural Engagement. This grouping will enable us to better respond to the big themes and issues that matter for cultural relations worldwide, forming responses that reach beyond existing teams.  


The opportunity:


International collaboration in the arts lies at the heart of our cultural relations mission. From our high profile bilateral and global seasons, to showcasing artists to new audiences, to sharing our extraordinary modern and contemporary British arts collection with the world, our Arts offering is pivotal to that agenda.


This is therefore a unique opportunity to lead and shape a global Arts portfolio in an organisation that is internationally recognised as a leader in cultural relations.


To do this, you’ll need to develop our 5-year Arts vision, strategy and narrative, aligning this to the global organisational strategy and demonstrating the core contribution of the Arts to the wider British Council mission.


Most importantly, you will be critical in bringing our team with us on that journey, energising the creative focus of a fantastic global team of specialist and professional arts staff. 


A pivotal part of this role will also be your ability to grow and diversify income streams to support a sustainable operating model. This is particularly important as we look to cement our standing and value to the sector, our stakeholders and through media globally for the long term. 


Your creative vision and drive are vital to us. 


Up to c.£90000 per annum base salary plus an annual London Market Allowance of £3300 per annum
Annual Performance Related Pay Bonus and pay award
Outstanding Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension Scheme
32 days paid annual leave plus statutory days


About You:


We’re looking for someone who is a recognised cultural leader and who has a deep knowledge and understanding of the arts sector in the UK and internationally. 


You’ll bring a range of relevant, established senior relationships, which you’ll be able to leverage and connect to your experience of building strategic partnerships and sustainable operating models.


Given our global operating context and aims, you’ll show that you understand the opportunities and challenges of working internationally, ideally with experience of leading a global team.


If that sounds like you, we want to hear from you!


If you would like to understand more about this post, then please see the documents below:


Director of Arts - Role Profile.docx
British Council Core Skills.pdf



Further details:


If you are interested in the post and feel that you are suitable for the role, then we would really like to hear from you. Please apply by 9th February 2020 (23:59 UK Time).  




Our Equality Commitment:


Valuing diversity is essential to the British Council’s work. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights. All staff worldwide are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies. 



The British Council is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and is keen to reflect the diversity of UK society at every level within the organisation. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. In line with the British Council's Child Protection policy, any appointment is contingent on thorough checks. In the UK, and in other countries where appropriate systems exist, these include criminal records checks.