Lewes, East Sussex
£42,000 - £51,000 per year
Permanent, Full-time
Job description

The successful candidate will be a qualified accountant and will lead a small finance team. The post holder will be responsible for the overall financial management of the charity including preparation of annual budgets and cash-flow, quarterly management accounts and annual reports, as well as ensuring the financial controls are fit for purpose and operating effectively.


The role will oversee the operational and enterprise areas of The Charleston Trust including developing new business areas for the charity while ensuring profitability and excellence in the catering, retail and visitor experience.


The job will entail reviewing the charity’s financial processes to improve efficiency and effective financial reporting and will be required to support the ongoing process of change at Charleston. Good technical skills and IT literacy will be required to ensure that all financial, ticketing, membership and enterprise systems are sufficient to deliver timely and accurate KPIs and other data for Director/CEO, staff and Trustees.





Main tasks and responsibilities

  • Oversee all aspects of the financial management of the charity.
  • Provide the Senior Management Team with all relevant financial information to enable them to plan effectively and control their strategic and commercial responsibilities.
  • Prepare management accounts, cash flow forecasts and all other relevant financial information for presentation to the Board of Trustees and the Business & Finance Committee.
  • Ensure the charity and its enterprise subsidiary conforms with all financial, charitable and other statutory responsibilities.
  • Support budget holders to set and monitor budgets.
  • Be responsible for putting in place and maintaining robust financial systems and controls.
  • Responsibility for submission of tax and VAT returns and other matters pertaining to HMRC, Charity law, Company law, PAYE and other relevant legislation.
  • Work closely with the auditors to manage the annual audit process including preparation and submission of statutory accounts.
  • Work across the organisation to monitor, improve and/or retender for new financial, ticketing, sales and membership systems.
  • Manage and co-ordinate the organisation’s insurance provision and work closely with the Head of Operations and Visitor Experience to ensure good value for money with major utilities and facilities contracts.
  • Be an inspiring, effective and supportive line manager to all line reports.
  • Manage the Finance department to ensuring a productive and professional service within and outside the organisation.
  • Support the Head of Retail & Product Development and the Head Chef/Catering Manager to access, analyse and report financial information relating to their departments. Work closely with these line reports to understand visitor habits, make improvements to ensure profitability, manage costs and maintain/increase spend per head while delivering an excellent experience appropriate to Charleston’s unique heritage.
  • Provide line management support for the Head of Operations & Visitor Experience in all their areas of responsibility including buildings, site and facilities maintenance, ticketing and groups management, and the management of a large team of Visitor Service Assistants and Guides.
  • Support the Director/CEO to ensure the organisation works to both legal requirements and sector good practice for HR and governance.



Person Specification


Essential skills and experience

  • Qualified accountant (ACA, CA or CIMA).
  • Significant senior experience in managing an organisation’s finances.
  • Line management experience and skills to line manage senior staff.
  • Proven track record in business planning and development.
  • The skills to collaborate effectively with colleagues, staff, external stakeholders, consultants, trustees, and senior managers and to present financial information in an easily understandable manner.
  • The ability to adapt to new technology; exceptional IT skills across a range of platforms and software relevant to the role.
  • Experience co-ordinating and setting multi-departmental budgets and producing complex cash-flows.
  • Ability to manage multiple deadlines and prioritise effectively.
  • Ability to think strategically, commercially and entrepreneurially.
  • Understanding of, and preferably experience in, charity finance.


Core competencies

  • Exceptional oral and written communication and presentation skills.
  • An interest in the heritage sector.
  • Flexible and adaptable to changing demands and new challenges.
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a small team.
  • Ability to mentor and supervise individuals.
  • Good time management with the ability to work to tight deadlines.

Deadline for applications: 5pm on Wednesday 20 November 2019

Interviews will be held: Thursday 28 November 2019


Additional information


  • Because of the rural location of Charleston, the post holder must be aware that getting to work without the use of a car involves some additional planning and commitment.
  • The basic annual leave entitlement is 25 working days, excluding bank holidays.
  • We offer employers contribution pension scheme (on successful completion of probation).
  • The Trust has a commitment to ensure equality of opportunity for all employees and employees are required to adhere to this in their work.
  • Our aim is to become a truly inclusive and diverse organisation. We welcome applicants from disabled, black, minority and ethnic communities and LGBTQ+ people.
  • All positions at Charleston are offered subject to the following conditions:
  • Receipt of satisfactory references
  • Proof that you are legally entitled to work in the UK
  • All applications received will be acknowledged. Please note that due to limited resources we are unable to give feedback to all applicants.


The Charleston Trust

Charleston is a seventeenth century Sussex farmhouse that was the home of two of the most important and influential British artists of the twentieth century - Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. Their uniquely decorated house became the country retreat of a group of individuals known as the Bloomsbury group which included Vanessa Bell’s sister Virginia Woolf, the economist John Maynard Keynes and critics Roger Fry and Clive Bell. Writers Lytton Strachey, TS Eliot and EM Forster were also regular visitors.


Today, Charleston is a thriving house museum with a programme of regular exhibitions, events and festivals, a café/restaurant and retail operations. The Charleston Trust receives no public funding to support its running costs and each year is entirely dependent on self-generated income and fundraising.

Refreshed on: 13 November 2019
Closed date: 20 November 2019
Tags: Finance, Senior Management