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Chief Financial Officer

Reference 8931939
Sector Food Manufacturing Jobs
Salary Negotiable
Town/City Kent
Locations Kent, South East, UK
Job Type Permanent
Date Posted 15th Mar

Shortlist Apply Now

Job Description

Role: Chief Financial Officer - The Historic Dockyard, Chatham

Location: UK, South East (Chatham, Kent)

Sector: Consumer - Not-for-profit, hospitality and Real Estate

Obligation: Full Time, Permanent

Remuneration: £70-£75k plus bonus


Closing Date: 30 th April 2019

Application: A covering letter and CV to be sent to Miss Kerry Childs, PA to the Chairman and Chief Executive. Via email:

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

An independent charity established by government in 1984 to take the stewardship of the 80-acre Historic Dockyard site. The 100 buildings and structures on the estate combine to make the most complete dockyard of the Age of Sail in the world.

The Dockyard was central to the support of the Royal Navy until closure in 1984. It was also at the heart of the economic and social wellbeing of Medway, the largest conurbation outside of London in the South East of England. Closure, therefore, had a profound impact on the wider community as well as the Dockyard. CHDT has been a strategic regeneration player since inception, rising to the challenge of placing the Dockyard back at the heart of the area and leading many strategic partnerships. Government remains involved with the Trust through the "membership" of two Secretaries of State, although it has no direct management role.

The CHDT has two core objectives:

  • Preservation: To maintain excellence in the sympathetic preservation and use of the Historic Dockyard, its buildings, ships and collections
  • Learning: To engage the most diverse audiences in learning about the significance and role of the former Royal Dockyard at Chatham and its people in supporting the Royal Navy from sail to steam and nuclear power over a 400-year period

To provide an unmatched inspirational experience to all of its users whether they are visitors, tenants, residents or students that exceeds their expectations is also one of their key objectives.

The Trust is driven by these objectives, which are delivered via a strategy described as 'Preservation through Re-Use'. Approximately £70m of grant income (capital) has been raised since 1984 along with considerable joint venture funding that has turned the dilapidated, post-industrial site into a thriving mixed-use community with creativity at its heart. This strategy has seen most of the estate's 100 buildings (47 Scheduled Ancient Monuments) brought into a variety of productive uses, including:

  • 115 homes
  • Approximately 100 tenancies
  • A number of university buildings (academic) - 800 students
  • An historic rope production facility that is core to the Dockyard's educational purposes but only sustainable via an entrepreneurial business strategy (£500k annual sales)
  • A range of museum and visitor attraction facilities for 185,000 visitors per annum. The Dockyard is an Accredited Museum and an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation

A current economic impact study indicates that operations across the site contribute an estimated £26m to the local economy each year, set to grow to £29m in the short term. This represents a remarkable payback on the investment of public money to date. The Trust is very proud of this achievement.

The Trust is seen as a typical example within its field, a position that it intends to develop yet further via increasing leadership and management resilience with finance at its heart.


A strongly entrepreneurial development and growth culture exists within the organisation and staff are seen as essential to success, with staff development a key focus.

Objectives of Recruitment

The Chief Executive has a strong entrepreneurial and strategic financial management background and has led progress for the last 18 years supported by a very capable Chief Financial Officer and other directors. Trustees are working with management to create a planned and orderly succession in an open and collaborative way. The current Chief Financial Officer plans to retire. Similarly, the Chief Executive plans to retire in the next few years but is also flexible with timing and engagement depending on the development of existing team members, the skills and experienced achieved through recruitment, and the wishes of the board. This is not to say that there is any reduction in drive or commitment from the current team but reflects a mature and responsible approach to managed succession which reflects the Trust's open and inclusive style of staff engagement.

The right candidate could step up to the CEO role in due course.

Role specification

The Trust is seeking to recruit a Chief Financial Officer capable of engaging with the Chief Executive, other directors and board to inform broad strategic development; leading on strategic finance, regulatory and taxation matters; and hands-on management of the accounts team and engagement in the production of timely, accurate accounting information. All activities will focus on the maximisation of the Trust's charitable objectives and ensuring their financial resilience.

Key responsibilities:

  • Contribute to strategic planning and financial management
  • Take the lead on financial accounting and reporting
  • Lead the management of the Trust's extensive commercial and residential property portfolio contributing to strategic development planning
  • Manage the Trust's HR functions
  • Manage the Trust's IT functions
  • Oversee investment of Trust reserves
  • External investment according to policy
  • Internal investment into the Trust's property portfolio
  • Undertake management reporting, 5-year planning, budgeting/forecasting, ad hoc analysis on behalf of the board
  • Devise and maintain financial systems, procedures and internal controls
  • Ensure legal compliance

The Trust's CEO plans to retire in the next year or two. The right candidate could step up to the CEO role.

Person specification

The Trust is looking to strengthen its strategic financial planning and management capacity by appointing a Chief Financial Officer who fits the hands-on, entrepreneurial culture of the Trust but who can become strongly engaged in the next phase of their strategic management and development. The successful candidate will have the following skills and experience:


  • Senior level finance experience: The successful candidate will be a qualified accountant and will demonstrate excellent "hands-on" operational finance experience as well as an ability to drive strategic direction. This could be as a CFO/Finance Director of a business or business division of comparable scale (>£6m turnover) or it could be an experienced Accountant/Financial Controller/Commercial Finance Director of significant scale who is capable of leading across the range of activity of a fully-fledged finance function
  • Property: The successful candidate will have experience of managing the financial requirements relating to property. Ideally this will be from managing a significant property portfolio (across residential and business tenants), but candidates who have been responsible for a property function or who have a broad understanding of property lease agreements will also be of interest


  • Third sector: The ideal candidate will have experience or an appreciation of the nuances of working in the third sector. They will demonstrate an understanding of driving a business strategy that is linked not just to revenue optimisation but also to other indicators that benefit the shareholders more broadly
  • HR and IT: The ideal candidate will have had responsibility for HR and/or IT

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