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Programme Manager (6-month Fixed Term Contract)

We are looking for an exceptional candidate to join our team on a fixed-term basis (6-month FTC) and manage the successful delivery of a range of projects in the architecture and infrastructure space.

We are seeking a passionate individual who wants to accelerate place-based innovation by design and to influence others to see place- and infrastructure as fundamental to our societal transition to a sustainable and regenerative world for all.

In this role, you will be responsible for the development and programme management of a portfolio of projects in our place and infrastructure team, working with Design Council Experts, and managing client relationships to deliver exceptional project outcomes and in doing so, to support the Design Sector in taking a key role in tackling the climate crisis.

About the role

Business and Programme Development 

  • Leading on the planning, delivery and day-to-day management of programmes of work in the place and infrastructure sectors with a focus on our infrastructure portfolio
  • Managing projects to deliver effective, high-quality outcomes, and efficiencies, in line with agreed project objectives. 
  • Working with the Place Innovation Lead and Senior Programme Managers to define, scope, develop and convert new business opportunities and projects. 

Client and Programme management 

  • Development and day-to-day management of high-quality client relationships across the project portfolio
  • Successfully and efficiently manage projects to time and budget
  • Managing resources and relationships with key partners, clients and Design Council Experts to ensure exceptional standards of service and content development and delivery in this mission 
  • Ensuring projects are delivered to agreed contracts, meeting high quality standards, financial targets and deliverables on time
  • Supporting in the professional development of colleagues

Design Council representation 

  • Providing insight, advice and support regarding sustainable and regenerative place-based design to internal and external audiences
  • Developing contacts and influence in relevant external networks extending beyond existing projects’ and clients’ focus to gather and promote insight and best practice and position Design Council

Programme and Project Management

  • An experienced programme manager with a proven track record of success in managing multiple complex projects with delivery on time and to budget.
  • Experience and expertise working in the place and infrastructure sector and a solid understanding of sustainability challenges and approaches within the sector. 
  • Confidence in effectively engaging with clients and managing client relationships.
  • Ability to build successful relationships with external stakeholder organisations including local authorities, government bodies and community organisations.
  • Experience of or exposure to developing community-led responses to planning, eg. through engaging in neighbourhood plans.
  • Confident and adaptable user of IT systems including project management tools.

Design thinking and skills 

  • Familiarity with applying systems thinking to complex problems, and understanding of how to incorporate it into client conversations.
  • Strong experience of overseeing a portfolio of programmes while extracting insights from them and continually improving them.
  • Ability to articulate and assess design quality in the context of programmes such as Design Coding and Design Reviews.
  • Examples of creating Thought Leadership and an ability to raise the profile of the organisation and its work.
  • Motivated and excited to evolve current design practice to prioritise climate-relevant approaches, specifically within place and infrastructure.

People management and skills 

  • Ability to work collaboratively, building creative consensus through a consultative approach and working across multiple stakeholders.
  • Understanding and appreciation of the importance and value of diversity, equity and inclusion in building a positive workplace culture.

Skills & Experience

  • Academic and professional qualifications, or associated discipline, or equivalent experience in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, environmental design, or planning
  • Professional experience of engaging with and operating across the built environment system in a variety of roles or contexts
  • Experience and skills across a selection of the following practices relevant to design, placemaking and the climate and biodiversity crises:
  • Housing delivery;
    • Retrofit and repurposing of existing assets
    • Town centre regeneration;
    • Sustainable planning and development; 
    • Landscape character appraisals and assessments; 
    • Environmental impact assessments; 
    • Developing green and blue infrastructure frameworks, and ecological assessments; 
    • Biodiversity net gain; 
    • Flooding and drainage assessments; 
    • Assessing embodied and operational carbon performance; 
    • Whole life cycle analysis
  • A project management qualification is an advantage.

Our values and behaviours

  • Boundless Curiosity. Dynamic scoping of new ideas and best working practices to create and demonstrate impact. 
  • Inspire Possibility. Brilliant team and project leadership so we clearly communicate the value and impact of design. 
  • Powerful Together. Role modelling how to get the best out of everyone so we all maximise our contribution to Design for Planet.

Corporate responsibilities

  • Proactively identify and manage risks and financial controls in relation to the Design Council and your specific area of responsibility.
  • Comply with the Design Council’s operational policies and procedures including financial and risk management, project management and evaluation processes, brand guidelines, GDPR, information security and internal health and safety policy.


Please submit your application by 9 July 2024.



Please email Ishbel Allotey, HR Manager if you have questions about the role.

The Design Council is fully committed to being a diverse and inclusive organisation.  We welcome applications from everyone who meets the criteria.  If you need any additional support, please do send in an early alert to our email address below.​


  • Salary: £40,000+
  • Reporting to: Place + Infrastructure Innovation Lead
  • Contract: 6-month Fixed Term Contract
  • Closing date: 19 July 2024