Portsmouth City Council

Director of Regeneration

Salary circa £140,000 plus pension and additional benefits

Why work in Portsmouth?

Portsmouth is a great waterfront city and a vibrant place to live and work. It is an island city with an “inner city” feel, a seaside location packed with attractions and events, and the advantage of fantastic countryside on its doorstep. With a fast-growing university, high-tech industries and a vibrant cultural scene, Portsmouth is a modern city that looks to the future, but which is proud of its unique heritage as the home of the Royal Navy and historic dockyard. With fast road and rail links to London, Brighton and major airports, and ferry links to Europe, it is the perfect place to live and work.

The Challenge

Portsmouth is a rapidly changing city with big ambitions for the future. We are actively pursuing devolution from central government and are implementing our City Deal, converting £50m grant into £1bn investment. We are redesigning the M275 entrance to the city to enable continued redevelopment and have a target of an additional 18,000 homes over the next 20 years. Our 5 corporate priorities are:

  • Encourage regeneration and investment
  • Raise educational standards
  • Be entrepreneurial and efficient
  • Empower residents to be healthy and independent
  • Provide excellent customer service

Our programme of regeneration is central to our aim to improve the physical environment and skills base, drive economic development, and increase the prosperity of the city.

The Council has recently entered into a partnership with neighbouring Gosport Borough Council, and this role offers the opportunity to shape and drive regeneration on both sides of Portsmouth Harbour.

What is the role?

We are looking for an exceptional candidate for this newly created role of Director of Regeneration. Reporting directly to David Williams, Chief Executive of Portsmouth City Council and Gosport Borough Council, you will manage a newly formed directorate bringing together Planning, Regeneration, Economic Development, Property Investment, Transport, and Strategic Asset Management. The role will also link closely into culture and events, which include hosting the Great South Run, Victorious Music Festival, America's Cup World Series and the 'Wiggle' triathlon. You will provide strategic leadership across both councils and play a key role in the joint management arrangements of the Senior Management Team.

The Director of Regeneration will be at the forefront of the next phase of Portsmouth's successful development as a hub of the regional economy, building on the successful City Deal and pursuing the Solent's devolution agenda. The new post holder will work with and influence a range of key stakeholders and businesses across the Southern Region, Westminster, Europe and the wider global economy, to ensure that the area continues to develop its profile and accesses opportunities and funding. Portsmouth City Council is the accountable body for the Solent LEP and provides the officer leadership to PUSH (the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire). The Solent has a strong SME base, and a thriving research community through our Universities, marine, maritime and aerospace industries. The area is strategically positioned in relation to London, mainland Europe, and just 20 nautical miles from the key Shanghai to Rotterdam shipping superhighway. With responsibility for bringing jobs and growth to Portsmouth and Gosport as well as delivering excellent front line services to residents, this is a key role for the city.

This role requires a diverse set of skills that will enable the post-holder to expand the city's inwards investment opportunities for the future. You will need vision and the ability to deliver complex multi-million pound schemes and projects. You will work closely with the Leader and Chief Executive and manage the Regeneration Directorate to provide Portsmouth City Council and Gosport Borough Council with a clear strategy and direction for economic growth and prosperity. As principal advisor on economic development and regeneration matters, you will be up to date on matters affecting commercial and economic development, the interface with other services such as housing and public health, and be able to convey these clearly and concisely in verbal, visual and written reports to a wide variety of audiences inspiring investment and collaboration. You will be required to represent the authorities at local, national and international levels.

You will:

  • Be the principal adviser on economic development and regeneration matters to the Chief Executive and Elected Members of Portsmouth and Gosport Councils, in particular via the cabinet, committees and member forums
  • Provide the highest standards of leadership and effective management of all services across the regeneration directorate, ensuring effective leadership, budget management, motivation and development of staff
  • Develop effective relationships with key partners, businesses and residents to ensure that the services provided reflect their needs
  • In conjunction with the political leadership and corporate communications, be responsible for media liaison on all regeneration and growth issues including dealing with the press, radio and TV for PR and crisis management
  • Work corporately and successfully across the councils and play a key role in the corporate leadership of both councils
  • Manage a complex budget - the cost of the services totals circa £25m, which delivers income of £25m. In addition, the capital ambitions of the relevant services total over £1bn.
  • Be prepared to lead service transformation and redesign in response to financial pressures
  • Be part of the CRISIS management team and support the Councils civil contingencies and counter-terrorism responsibilities
  • Lead the Strategic Planning Authority and Local Highway Authority in providing a strategic lead in the preparation and implementation of the Local Development Framework and a Local Transport Plan, with annual monitoring reports
  • Advise the Council on strategic property matters regarding the management, disposal and acquisition of land and buildings
  • Advise the Council on all strategic matters regarding planning and land use, and the protection and enhancement of the environment
  • Co-ordinate the planning input and master-planning for area based and borough-wide regeneration initiatives in liaison with other directorates and external partners

Who is the person?

We are looking for someone who:

  • Has significant experience and a proven track record of achievement in leading and managing regeneration and economic development programmes of comparable scope, size and complexity
  • Has substantial experience of strategic planning and policy formulation around regeneration and economic development
  • Models a strong performance culture together with a track record of sustainable strategies that bring about significant change in a locality
  • Can evidence strong commercial acumen and financial management skills that have brought about demonstrable improvements in efficiency and value for money
  • Works successfully with partners and key stakeholders including residents, businesses, communities, partner organisations and other public services
  • Can work successfully with elected members across both Councils and navigate a complex political landscape at a sub-regional level
  • Has degree or equivalent professional qualification, preferably in a relevant discipline
  • Inspires trust and confidence through leading by example, acting with integrity and exemplifying our values
  • Is a leader who can inspire colleagues, stakeholders and partners to find the solutions that are best for Portsmouth City Council and Gosport Borough Council

Core Competencies

The Director of Regeneration will be required to meet the needs of their service and the core competencies detailed below:

Corporate Governance

  • Provide Members and senior managers with advice and guidance on Corporate Governance and develop and consider with them available options for the delivery of the service in the light of changing guidance such as the Municipal and Trust Port Reviews
  • Be confident in identifying the options available and where required guide on appropriate levels of intervention, new initiatives and structures
  • Work closely with colleagues to develop the council's resilience and health in corporate governance issues
  • Provide high standards of excellence in service delivery and performance management
  • Work effectively as a member of the management team across PCC

Strategic Thinking

  • Be sensitive to political processes and priorities in a complex organisational setting
  • Find new ways of addressing issues
  • Identify opportunities to improve service delivery with desirable outcomes and reduced costs
  • Communicate each idea clearly and persuasively

Getting the best from people

  • Act as an effective role model
  • Adapt leadership style to meet the needs of different people, organisational cultures and situations
  • Get to know individuals and their aspirations
  • Identify and develop talent
  • Give and expect frequent constructive feedback
  • Demonstrate your ability to offer strategic guidance and support whilst allowing colleagues the freedom and confidence to develop and deliver at an operational level

Giving purpose and direction

  • Own the problems and challenges facing the service and work effectively alone and with others to solve those problems and challenges
  • Focus on and ensure effective performance and budget management
  • Provide positive change management support with a focus on solutions and alternatives and not problems
  • Be clear about what needs to be achieved and how it should be communicated
  • Involve people in deciding what has to be done - working with partners, customers and teams to create a strategic approach and relevant action plans
  • Communicate a compelling view of the future - recognising the need to offer an ever changing response to the needs of the organisation
  • Clarify strategic activity and organisational drivers and set clear short and long term objectives

Making a personal Impact

  • Be visible and approachable to all
  • Act with honesty and integrity
  • Be valued for sound application of knowledge and expertise recognising the need for flexibility and innovation where appropriate
  • Have presence and a positive impact when providing advice and guidance
  • Challenge and in turn expect to be challenged and lead by example with a positive response to challenge
  • Can be a trusted confidante and adviser by always listening with the intention of understanding
  • Respect others so that you are trusted and able to influence and persuade people with confidence at all levels both within and external to the organisation

Learning and Improving

  • Be aware of own strengths, weaknesses and motivations
  • Build productive relationships with people across and outside the organisation
  • Understand, value and incorporate different operational and planning perspectives into every aspect of the service and own activity
  • Adapt quickly and flexibly to change

Focusing on Delivery

  • Put customers first
  • Organise the work to deliver to time, budget and agreed quality standards
  • Seek continuously to improve performance - and work with an ethos of right first time
  • Make best use of diverse talents, technology and available resources to deliver results
  • Be clear and tenacious about outcomes required whilst recognising the need to adapt the service to meet organisational demand

Empathy and Aptitude

  • Demonstrate a record of empathy within the service areas covered and demonstrate an aptitude for the core competencies
  • Understand and recognise the standards, expertise and requirements of the various professional areas you lead and manage and have the aptitude and ability to quickly develop the knowledge and skills needed to fully meet the breadth and depth of the job purpose
  • Be able to clearly demonstrate how the combination of your leadership skills and personality combine to drive effective delivery of service

We focus on the following priorities to achieve our goal:

  • Raise education standards
  • Be entrepreneurial and efficient
  • Provide excellent customer service
  • Encourage regeneration and investment
  • Encourage residents to be healthy and independent

Ways of Working

Ways of Working have been developed with staff within Portsmouth City Council and are delivered within each service who operate within them and design services and customer interaction to enhance them. As a Director you must be able to articulate and show by example how you intend to lead the service to ensure all staff embrace and work to these ways of working which are:

  • Take pride in our work
  • Focus on what's important
  • Value others
  • Make a positive difference

Gosport Borough Council also has core values and ways of working that have been developed with staff and you must also work to these in your role with the borough.

For a confidential conversation, contact Penny Ransley at GatenbySanderson on
020 7426 3962 or visit for further information and how to apply.

Closing date: 31 May 2017

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