NWN looking for governance review consultant

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CLIENT: New Writing North (

DATE: Monday 23 March 2015


The board of New Writing North are looking to appoint a freelance consultant to review New Writing North’s (NWN) present governance and operational arrangements and to provide an options appraisal for the future management of the organisation.


The board wants to ensure that given the recent expansion of the organisation’s responsibilities to a wider geographical area, that NWN’s operational structure, policies, procedures and governance mechanism are suitable and effective to enable the suitable day-to-day management and governance as the organisation grows and develops.

The purpose of this consultancy is to:

  • * Review the current staff, board and committee structures, reporting, decision-making and review and self-assessment processes
  • * Review the present operational structure, policies, procedure and governance arrangements including all financial and procurement processes
  • * Identify any gaps, or areas for improvement in organisational structure, process and procedures and to make recommendations of suitable improvements or additional provisions having regard to the nature of the organisation, its operating environment and the requirements of funders and stakeholders
  • * Propose recommendations and a detailed rationale to the NWN board


New Writing North is the development agency for creative writing and reading. Established in 1996 the organisation was the first development agency to be established outside of London and has since being the model for six more regional agencies across the country. NWN has been funded by Arts Council England since inception and is currently a National Portfolio Organisation.

From a base in Newcastle upon Tyne, NWN operates across the North of England, working in partnership with regional and national partners and supporters to produce a range of literary and performance activities including flagship projects such as The Northern Writers’ Awards, The Gordon Burn Prize, our wide-ranging Cuckoo Young Writers programme, and Durham Book Festival.

NWN specialises in developing and investing in writers of all ages and acting as a dynamic broker between writers, producers, publishers and broadcasters across the creative industries. NWN also works in partnership with Higher Education to contribute to creative writing teaching and as research partners. Current partners include BBC Radio 3, Channel 4 Drama, Faber and Faber, Northumbria University and Durham University. The entrepreneurial approach to talent development has also seen NWN create Moth Publishing, a crime imprint in partnership with Business Educational Publishers, and working with Northumbria University to stage the innovative Crime Story festival.


4.1 Meetings and communication

Consultants will be expected to outline how they will manage the project delivery and the communication with New Writing North. In order to assist, the organisation has established a board working group to support the project, and facilitate both communication and decision-making:

Project management group

  • Jonathan Blackie, NWN chair
  • Ruth Connorton, NWN board member
  • Anthony Devine, NWN board member
  • Steve Bishop, NWN board member

4.2 Software compatibility

Information is to be supplied in the following forms:

  • * Text documents: Microsoft Word 2007
  • * Spreadsheets: Microsoft Excel 2007
  • * Any other graphical presentational information to be supplied in PDF format


Submitting a proposal

The consultant should supply the following information:

  • * Fixed price quotation for carrying out this work plus day rates for any additional work requested by the client
  • * Information on the availability of the consultant(s) to undertake this work between May and July 2015
  • * CV for the proposed consultant(s) who will personally deliver the project that should include details of their specific experience and expertise of the type required to deliver this project
  • * Proposal and methodology (including timetable) for carrying out the work (max 3 x A4 pages), to include: Anticipated programme of work that identifies key stages and deliverables
  • * Contact details for two references from the last two years of relevant work experience
  • * Details of the specific individuals who would undertake the work and the proportion of the assignment to be carried out by each of them. CVs may be provided

Submission scoring

Applications for this work will be scored on the following criteria:

  • * Knowledge and experience of cultural / arts organisations in receipt of Arts Council / public funding
  • * Examples / experience provided of similar types of work undertaken
  • * Quality of the proposal and methodology
  • * Value for money

Deadline for submissions: 12 noon on Monday 6 April 2015

Submissions should be emailed to Jonathan Blackie, chair of New Writing North, on [email protected]. Any queries in advance of submission can also be made to this contact.