Treasurer and Chair of Finance

Birmingham Botanical Gardens is looking for a Treasurer/Chair of Finance to join our Board of Trustees. It’s an exciting time for the Charity as we embark on a major project to secure the future of the Gardens and Glasshouses.

As a Trustee, you will play a vital role in shaping that future and the direction of the Gardens, a much-loved part of Birmingham’s landscape and heritage, and significant in the botanical world. We are looking for an enthusiastic, experienced candidate with an inquisitive, analytical and detail focused nature, the ability to chair a board committee, to challenge and support the board, and who can demonstrate the highest standards of integrity and governance. We need someone who is happy to help deliver the core ethos of our charity and take joint responsibility for the oversight of running it.

About Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Opened in 1832, Birmingham Botanical Gardens (BBG, registered charity number 528981) is one of just two independent charitable botanical gardens in the UK. Spread across 15 acres, one mile from Birmingham City Centre, BBG consists of over 7,000 formally documented plants, making it the largest and most diverse botanic collection in central England. BBG’s heritage is woven into Birmingham’s history – once the most important manufacturing town in the world – and the site welcomes over 180,000 visitors each year.

As well as the gardens – a green sanctuary in the city, the charity also provides a unique educational resource for learning about plants, conservation, and the environment. We welcome visits from nurseries, schools, colleges, and organised groups, and run adult courses and workshops including photography, nature and wildlife, and heritage and culture.

As an independent charity, we rely on the support of visitors, donors and grants, as well as income generated from our trading arm, hosting weddings and special events and providing catering. This support is crucial to help us maintain our Victorian glasshouses and our 15-acres of wonderful gardens, and develop new educational projects for the Birmingham community.

“A diverse botanical world that enhances all our lives.”

Our mission is to support plant biodiversity and an understanding of its importance to the natural environment through conservation, education, engagement and enjoyment.

Our Team

BBG employs 30 full-time members of staff and is supported by a wonderful team of 50 volunteers who contribute across all areas of the Gardens’ activities.

The work of the Gardens is led by Chief Executive Sara Blair-Manning and the Management Team.

Governance of BBG is led by a Board of Trustees which currently meets eight times a year, with subcommittees, including education, finance and development:

Sue Beardsmore, Chair of the Board of Trustees is a former BBC Broadcast Journalist covering the Midlands, and a former Chair of the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Midlands and East Committee.

Your Role as a Treasurer/Finance Chair

The successful candidate will assist in the responsibility and oversight of running the charity, complying with BBG’s governing document and the law.

As a Treasurer/Finance Chair you will also take responsibility for financial stability and growth of BBG, overseeing the financial accounts, budget and financial matters of the charity. You will work closely with the Chair, Chief Executive and Finance team to support their understanding of the financial position of the charity.

Ideally, you will have a formal accountancy qualification, or alternatively significant practical experience with the financial challenges faced by a charitable organisation.

All Trustees at BBG have a core set of duties and responsibilities:

  • Ensure that BBG pursues its objectives as defined in its governing document and shows a continued commitment to BBG’s vision, mission and values.
  • Attend all Board meetings (currently eight times per year) and any relevant subcommittees.
  • Ensure that BBG complies with its governing documents (Memorandum and Articles of Association), charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations.
  • Ensure that BBG applies its resources exclusively for the fulfilment of its objects.
  • Provide overall strategic direction to BBG, setting out the overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets.
  • Ensure the financial stability of BBG, ensuring the proper investment of all funds.
  • Work alongside the Chief Executive and continually monitor her performance (alongside the performance review framework).
  • Agree and have responsibility for required policies such as Health and Safety, Safeguarding, and other internal policies, and develop, agree and monitor the strategy, planning and risk register.
  • Appoint, succession plan and appraise the performance of fellow Trustees/Directors.

Main Duties and Responsibilities as a Treasurer/Finance Chair

In addition to the above duties and responsibilities, the Treasurer/Finance Chair has role-specific duties and responsibilities:

  • Providing strategic financial leadership and advice to the organisation.
  • Provide detailed scrutiny of budgets, management accounts and cashflow and preparing financial reports for Trustees.
  • To make recommendations to the Board of Trustees for consideration and implementation. • Ensuring that the financial resources of the organisation meet its present and future needs.
  • To keep the Board informed about its duties and legal responsibilities in relation to charity finance. • Bring overall leadership and governance of the charity’s financial functions.
  • Review strategic work and BBG’s annual accounts, and ensure all financial practices are within legal requirements.
  • Liaising with any paid staff and volunteers about financial matters

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for a Treasurer/Finance Chair with previous Board experience. The successful candidate will:

  • Have a formal accountancy qualification, or significant practical experience with the financial challenges faced by a charitable organisation
  • Understand the community and area in which BBG operates
  • Have strong, independent judgement and the ability to think creatively and strategically
  • Be able to give constructive feedback and to challenge other Board members and the charity
  • Have practical experience overseeing charity finances and knowledge of CC requirements
  • Be able to analyse risks and opportunities and take a balanced approach to both
  • Be able to work as part of a team, and be willing to take collective responsibility for the governance of our charity

As part of our commitment to equality BBG wants to ensure that the Board reflects its ambition to be an inclusive and diverse organisation and to be representative of the communities we serve. We therefore welcome applications from individuals of all backgrounds.

Please note that this role is unpaid.

To apply, please send a one-page covering letter, your CV and a completed Trustees Skills Assessment Form to chair@birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk

This is a fantastic opportunity to be a part of an organisation making a real difference in Birmingham and the wider natural world, and to play an active role in the future direction and strategy employed by the charity.