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Search begins for new chief executive of Eden Court Theatre with £95,000 salary for right candidate

By Val Sweeney

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The search is on for a new chief executive of Eden Court Theatre.
The search is on for a new chief executive of Eden Court Theatre.

Eden Court Theatre has started the search for a new chief executive with the post commanding a salary of up to £95,000 a year.

It follows the announcement that the current post holder, James Mackenzie-Blackman, is leaving in December after almost four years in charge to return to his home town and head up the Theatre Royal Plymouth.

In launching the search for his replacement, the board of Eden Court said: "This is an exceptional opportunity at a pivotal moment in our history."

The salary is advertised at between £85,000 and £95,000 dependent on skills and experience.

Eden Court is Scotland’s largest single-site, award-winning arts venue, presenting and making work with, by and for the people of the Highlands and Islands.

It includes two theatres, two multi-purpose studios, two cinemas and three exhibition spaces plus bars, a restaurant and a shop.

The briefing pack for the role states: "Following James Mackenzie-Blackman’s appointment as chief executive of the Theatre Royal Plymouth, the board is seeking an exceptional new chief executive to provide inspirational leadership to Eden Court, ensuring strategic vision, financial resilience, artistic excellence, equality of opportunity, inclusion and long-term stability.

"The successful candidate will be a proven leader in the cultural sector with experience of managing significant budgets and teams, the ability to balance artistic vision and innovation with commercial imperatives, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, a genuine commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, and the willingness to play an important role in the civic life of Inverness and beyond."

The recruitment pack highlights the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the venue and stating that in normal times there would be about 200 staff on the payroll.

This had now been reduced to about 110 with a recognition that in many parts of the business there were departments which would will need to be rebuilt.

Chairman Don Robertson states: "We have been successful in stabilising the business through the pandemic and are now looking for the right person, with the right skills, experience and values to lead Eden Court into the future.

"There are incredibly exciting opportunities for the successful candidate to exploit, ranging from the strong foundations of a potential capital project and supporting us in our ambition to produce and co-produce more of our own work."

Following research and development over the past two years, the theatre has established there is an urgent need to increase the Empire Theatre’s 840 seating capacity and upgrade its technical infrastructure.

It also aims to develop a "destination dining offer" and reorganise its public spaces to maximise income and ensure the best possible visitor experience.

The closing date for applications is noon on Monday September 27.

Plans to increase capacity of auditorium

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