British Council

Theatre and Dance Relationship Manager

We work directly with individuals to help them gain the skills, confidence and connections to transform their lives and shape a better world in partnership with the UK.

Location: Edinburgh, UKM, GB

Company: British Council

We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide.

We work directly with individuals to help them gain the skills, confidence and connections to transform their lives and shape a better world in partnership with the UK. We support them to build networks and explore creative ideas, to learn English, to get a high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications.

Working with people in over 200 countries and territories, we are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2021–22 we reached 650 million people.


This role sits within the Cultural Engagement (CE) Strategic Business Unit (SBU). CE brings together our portfolio of work in arts, education, English, and research. Our UK arts team works with the arts and culture sector in the UK, and our global network of offices, to achieve significant impact and change by finding new ways of connecting and seeing each other through the arts. 

Our work is delivered through four global programmes: Culture Connects supports artistic and cultural exchange between the UK and countries internationally; Spotlights on Culture engages and represents the UK’s cultural diversity and creativity at high-profile cultural events; Creative Economy analyses creative ecosystems and highlights emerging trends and areas of convergence and difference between creative economies; Arts Responds to Global Challenges celebrates the transformative power of arts and culture to change attitudes and the protection and promotion of cultural expression, diversity and heritage at risk.

Why should you apply?

You will play a central role in the development and delivery of our Theatre and Dance programmes and support the sector to connect and collaborate internationally. You will work closely with partners and colleagues globally to ensure our programmes are inclusive, sustainable, impactful and of mutual benefit. Building partnerships and maintaining relationships will be a core part of the role with the possibility of pursuing external funding. 

You will have up-to-date knowledge of theatre and dance in Scotland and across the UK, including the Disability Arts sector. You understand the current challenges and opportunities faced by the UK theatre and dance sectors in their international ambitions. You are able to communicate effectively with a range of external partners at various levels.

The Opportunity

Role Purpose

Provide specialist expertise and management support within British Council global teams to ensure the development, partner building and quality control of high-quality, strategic Theatre & Dance and arts programmes within the arts portfolio of activity, which helps the programmes to achieve targets, meet global and local requirements as appropriate and support the British Council’s cultural relations objectives. 

Main accountabilities but not limited to the following:

Sector/subject expertise

  • Actively builds professional networks and information channels that maintain an excellent understanding of relevant developments, stakeholders and opinion formers across the entire UK Theatre & Dance sectors to support the creation and delivery of high-quality projects/programmes.
  • Provides expert advice and support to colleagues to ensure high quality programme content in major arts programmes based on a genuine understanding of the key British Council/FCDO priorities and best practice within the subject/sector specialism.

Relationship & stakeholder management 

  • Proactively identifies and cultivates potential/actual partners for project and programme development and delivery and secures the successful achievement of British Council objectives. 
  • Builds and maintains effective relationships with internal partners and stakeholders, to ensure effective, integrated and joined-up delivery of portfolio goals in a complex matrix environment. 

Programme management

  • Contributes to the development and presentation of specific project or programme proposals, both face-to-face and digital, including the subject or sector specialism-related component of wider programmes, to ensure these are soundly based and gain approval.
  • Oversees and, as necessary, advises on the implementation of approved programmes to ensure these are efficiently and effectively delivered.
  • Advises and works with colleagues to ensure the relevant parts of the British Council’s knowledge management systems, websites and marketing materials are up to date and comprehensive in relation to British Council’s work within the specific subject/sector specialism.
  • Provides advice and support to relevant programmes and projects and to external delivery organisations and provides quality control.
  • Uses specialist experience to identify project and programme issues, and potential solutions or improved ways of working to address them, and where necessary provide advice to and support delivery partners, escalating where necessary. 

Business development

  • As part of a wider team contributes professional input to support development of high quality, competitive and customer/market-focused bids, tender submissions, programme plans and sponsorship appeals, which can generate specified commercial returns and cultural relations impact.

Leadership and Management 

  • Plans and prioritises own work activities, and those of a wider project team/teams (many of which exist outside the direct management line and may be external to the British Council e.g. delivery organisations, to ensure effective delivery of diverse responsibilities and programmes.
  • May be formal line manager to junior staff, temporary staff or interns.
  • Shares knowledge, expertise and ideas to support senior managers and peers identifying and/or developing ways in which arts department can make the most effective impact on the British Council’s cultural relations. 
  • Works within a cross-departmental and multi-location team to create and facilitate the delivery of high-quality programmes – using negotiation skills within a matrix structure to persuade colleagues to support and external partners to deliver programmes, or work in new ways in support of cultural relations and to increase impact for the British Council in the UK and overseas.
  • Actively contributes to an inclusive and anti-racist organisational culture, being aware of own biases, and taking action to mitigate against these. Ensures people feel valued and are treated equitably, with support for people’s well-being and mental health. 
  • Understands the British Council’s approach to equality, diversity and inclusion and how it applies to the role and makes time for learning and development relating to EDI and anti-racism.

Commercial, financial & resource management 

  • Using agreed British Council systems and processes, plans and manages the budget as necessary for a range of small/medium-sized projects and programmes.

Role specific knowledge and experience:

The main essential knowledge and experience points that we are looking for you to evidence are:

  • A good, wide knowledge of contemporary UK theatre and dance today and the ability to make critical judgements across different genres. 
  • Substantial recent professional experience in the UK theatre &/or dance sectors and a good up-to-date network of contacts across the UK performing arts sectors.
  • Experience of working with/in the Disability Arts sector.

Desirable knowledge and experience:

  • Experience of working in an international context or with different cultures.
  • Experience of working with/in the Disability Arts sector.
  • Experience managing programmes and projects delivered through external partners and suppliers or outsourcing. 
  • Funding application experience.

Further Information 

Pay Band – 7/F - £26,934 to £30,354

Contract Type – Indefinite contract.


  • 32 days annual leave, in addition to public holidays
  • 6 days volunteering leave
  • Career average defined benefit pension scheme

…And an Unrivalled Opportunity for you to get to use all the experience you’ve built up working in and / or leading global organisations to support us in building trust across the world!

Location – Edinburgh

Requirements – Candidates must have the pre-existing right to work in location. Mobility / relocation support will not be provided

Closing Date – Sunday March 19, 2023

Interviews – Monday March 27, 2023

A connected and trusted UK in a more connected and trusted world.

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Statement

The British Council is committed to policies and practices of equality, diversity and inclusion across everything we do. We support all staff to make sure their behaviour is consistent with this commitment. We want to address under representation and encourage applicants from under-represented groups, in particular, but not exclusively, on grounds of ethnicity and disability. All disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria are guaranteed an interview and we have Disability Confident Employer Status. We welcome discussions about specific requirements or adjustments to enable participation and engagement in our work and activities.

The British Council is committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults who we work with.  We believe that all children and adults everywhere in the world deserve to live in safe environments and have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse, maltreatment and exploitation as set out in article 19, UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) 1989.

Appointment to positions where there is direct involvement with vulnerable groups will be dependent on thorough checks being completed; these will include qualification checks, reference checks, identity & criminal record checks in line with legal requirements and with the British Council’s Safeguarding policies for Adults and Children.

If you have any problems with your application please email

Please note: Applications to this role can only be considered when made through the Apply section of our careers website. Our ‘ASK HR’ email is only to be used in case of a technical issue encountered when applying through the careers website. Emails with supporting statements and CV/Resumes sent to this email address will not be reviewed and will be deleted.

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