WHALE Arts Agency
WHALE Arts Agency

Charity registered in Scotland SC020305

Since being set up by local people in 1992 WHALE Arts has firmly established itself as the cultural anchor organisation for Wester Hailes. As a community-led arts charity and social enterprise, WHALE Arts’ mission is to be the creative heart of a vibrant, thriving community. WHALE acts as a conduit between our community and creative opportunities through the direct delivery of projects, programmes and events and by connecting our community with city and national cultural partners. We are based in the purpose built WHALE Arts Centre – ‘The WHALE’ – a unique community asset that provides a range of high quality creative spaces for our community. ‘The WHALE’ operates as a social enterprise allowing us to generate income that supports our charitable work. Our social enterprises include the WHALE Pod creative business incubator, craft markets, office, training and conference facilities.

Current vacancies

Top job! Finance Trustee

  • Management Board
  • Unpaid
  • Edinburgh
  • Closing 14th February 2020

WHALE Arts Agency, a thriving place-based and building-based cultural anchor organisation for Wester Hailes, is seeking to identify a new member of its Board of Directors with a background in accounting or financial management to support the organisation develop and deliver future aspirations in support of the Strategic Plan.

Our Mission:We create the conditions for our community in Wester Hailes to work alongside artists and cultural practitioners to become agents for change who will proactively co-design, participate in, support or lead quality creative activity at all stages of their lives.

Our Vision: Wester Hailes is a creative, thriving, resilient, fair community.

WHALE Arts 5-year Strategic Plan can be viewed here: issuu.com/whalearts/docs/strategic_plan_whale_2019_-_2024__web_version_

Our current Board members have expertise and experience at a senior level in marketing, education, arts and culture. Expertise and experience of financial management and financial good governance are seen as a core capability required to augment and compliment the current Board experience and this vacancy has arisen as Lorraine Johnston who has provided the accounting oversight and insight has recently stepped down after almost 7 years’ service.

This is an excellent opportunity for someone wishing to experience a role at Board level while providing financial acumen, support and oversight to the other Board members and support a vibrant arts organisation. Ideally the candidate would be a qualified accountant however candidates with equivalent experience and proven track record in financial management, or equivalent, would be considered. The successful candidate must be able to position and explain accounting and financial data in a way that the non-accountant board members would understand. The organisation has accounting, payroll management and management accounting & reporting in place at an operational level and it is not expected that the Board member be involved in the day to day accounting and control activities.

We invite expressions of interest from suitably experienced individuals. Previous experience of board membership, and a genuine interest in the transformative power of the art are essential. Candidates must be prepared to contribute their professional knowledge, strong business contacts, and a firm commitment to actively promoting and supporting WHALE Arts Agency at a National level.

Board meetings are held every 6 weeks, in WHALE’s purpose built building in Wester Hailes. In addition, the board member with financial expertise provides support and advice to the executive team as required and supports the executive team in managing the relationship with the organisations appointed external examiners.

This is a voluntary role and WHALE’S Board Members are highly valued for the vital role they fulfil in providing professional guidance and financial governance for our thriving organisation. The Board, like the organisation, is friendly and informal and maintains the highest possible standards in its duties of governance and oversight of the business.

For further information visit http://www.whalearts.co.uk/vacancies/vacancy-finance-board-member/


Place Vision Lead

  • Full time or Part time
  • £24,193
  • Edinburgh
  • Closing 23rd January 2020

This exciting new project is supported by a steering group made up of local stakeholders including: Wester Hailes Community Trust, Living Well Wester Hailes, WHALE Arts, Edinburgh Napier University, About Youth, The Youth Agency, The Health Agency, City of Edinburgh Council, Prospect Community Housing and the Scottish Government.

This project complements and builds on existing place-making activity in Wester Hailes, building on current momentum in this area to develop a Local Place Plan. It will also introduce an innovative collaboration of academic and community researchers.

As both an overarching idea and a hands-on approach for improving a neighbourhood, city, or region, placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community. Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value. More than just promoting better urban design, placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution.

With community-based participation at its centre, an effective placemaking process capitalizes on a local community's assets, inspiration, and potential, and it results in the creation of quality public spaces that contribute to people's health, happiness, and wellbeing.


The role of Place Vision Lead is pivotal to the success of this project. The post holder will work with local residents in the different neighbourhoods of Wester Hailes to recruit and coordinate a small team of community researchers, collaborate with academic researchers at Edinburgh Napier University and create a range of events and resources which will deliver a lasting, transformational, community-led change for the area.

This is a four month project which follows on from work carried out by local organisations, residents along with City of Edinburgh Council and from the work carried out with the community by Ian Gilzean, Chief Architect at Scottish Government, who is currently seconded to City of Edinburgh Council to start to help lay the foundations for a Local Place Plan for Wester Hailes.

For further information, please download the Job description below.