Trustee Vacancies

Visitor Economy Trustee

About us

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House (managed by The Manchester Historic Buildings Trust) recently undertook a governance review to enable the trustees to work more effectively. This highlighted several issues that need addressing. As part of this review a skills audit of the current board membership was carried out and revealed several gaps in knowledge and experience. We are therefore recruiting a number of new Trustees.

The Board currently consists of 10- 15 members plus special advisors and meets every two months. Select committees meet regularly and produce reports and make recommendations to the full Board where appropriate

A resume of the setting up of the Trust, the restoration of the House, its staffing by paid staff and volunteers, and a description of its objectives and activities is enclosed. 

The Board of Trustees of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is seeking someone with proven visitor economy skills to join the Board and take a leading role in increasing visitor numbers to enable the House to continue to develop its objectives and provide a sustainable future

Role summary

Trustees have the ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, ensuring that it is solvent, well run and delivers the charitable outcomes for which it has been set up.   The main responsibilities of the role are set out below.  This role is voluntary and unremunerated.

Main responsibilities of the role

  • To contribute to Elizabeth Gaskell’s House strategic and business plans, giving firm strategic direction for the House by setting objectives and evaluating performance against objectives.
  • To ensure the financial stability and sustainability of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House and the proper investment of funds.
  • To be an advocate for Elizabeth Gaskell’s House and raise its profile both locally and beyond.
  • To ensure Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is managed effectively and efficiently, including oversight of:
    • Governance;
    • Property and collections maintenance and care;
    • Financial management, budgets and investments;
    • Health and Safety, Safeguarding and HR policies and procedures;
    • Fundraising;
    • Capital projects.
  • To ensure Elizabeth Gaskell’s House complies with relevant legislation and regulations, in particular ensuring that it prepares and submits its reports, annual returns and accounts as required by law.
  • To ensure that Elizabeth Gaskell’s House complies with the requirements and rules set out in its governing documents and ensure that it applies its resources exclusively to pursuing its objectives.
  • Keep informed about the activities of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House and wider issues that affect its work.
  • Act with integrity, to avoid conflicts of interest or misuse of funds or assets.
  • Act as a member of one or more of the board’s committees (Management and Finance; Fundraising and Strategic Planning) as appropriate.
  • Use specific skills; knowledge and experience to help the board of trustees reach sound decisions.

Time commitment

The Trustee Board meets 7 times a year, usually in the evening. In addition to attending these meetings, Trustees undertake work to meet the specific requirements of their role, and participate in other tasks where appropriate (e.g. attending events or fundraisers).  Trustees may also be asked to be a member of one or more of the board’s committees.  The frequency and nature (e.g. in person/phone/skype) of committee meetings varies by committee.  The time commitment is flexible to meet the needs of the individual and the role. Trustee terms are currently under review.

There are also opportunities for trustees to take on other voluntary roles at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, such as undertaking visitor tours, organising events or being Duty Managers for the House.  This is separate to the trustee role and any time commitments for this work would be in addition to those outlined above.

Person Specification

We welcome applications from people with a wide range of skills and experience.  At this time, we are particularly seeking a trustee with skills and experience in marketing and the visitor economy. This role would include:

-Working with the House Manager on strategic marketing planning and business development.

-Assisting the Board of Trustees to achieve sustainability in the future.

-Attending meetings of committees as required.

-Liaising with local business and organisations to ensure that the House is attracting appropriate support

-Working with the House manager and others to ensure that we access GM, regional and international support in marketing and visitor economy

We are seeking someone with proven marketing and visitor economy skills to join the Board and take a leading role in assisting the House Manager to pursue appropriate marketing opportunities and extend our audiences to enable the House to continue to develop.

We are also keen to welcome people who live locally onto our board to help us grow and deepen our relationships with our local communities.                                                                                                      


To apply for this role, please send a CV and covering letter detailing your relevant experience and why you are interested in the role to:  or to arrange to discuss the role before you apply.   

You can find copies of our annual report at  We are listed as Manchester Historic Buildings Trust and our registered charity number is 1080606.

The deadline for applications is 14th December 2020. We will invite successful applicants for an interview and tour of the House.

And we've got a house. Yes! we really have

Elizabeth Gaskell, 1850