Climate and Sustainability Senior Programme Manager

Design Council

This position will be instrumental in developing the Design Council’s programmes to respond to the climate and nature crisis. We are seeking a passionate individual who wants to help mobilise and accelerate change towards net zero in a way that opens up space for further design-led innovation, and influences others to see design as a fundamental method for addressing the climate crisis.

We are anticipating opportunities both to take existing clients with us on this journey and reaching out to new partners to use design to support and address their particular challenges in relation to these crises. This position will be focused on refining existing offers and exploring new areas where Design Council can be more powerful by working collaboratively with others to leverage and accelerate the route towards an inclusive and equitable transition.

In particular it will concentrate on developing our placemaking response to the climate and nature crises. A strength of our programmes is combining design expertise from across the built environment with complementary design perspectives in relation to systemic design, social innovation and community-oriented initiatives.

What does a Climate and Sustainbilty - Senior Programme Manager do?

Increasingly, our programmes will be developed to demonstrate the potential of using design to effect change. Inherent across these projects is the capability to influence organisations and policy to open the market opportunities to Design for Planet.

Our managers are highly skilled professionals in their field, managing a number of demonstrator projects across our programme areas. They have a key role in generating new income and securing new clients, achieving our quality standards and contributing to Design Council’s reach and influence externally. They manage projects of varying scale, hold a number of important client relationships and are skilled at working collaboratively.

This role has been designated as a Senior Programme Manager because of the complex skills, experience and relationships required in order to be successful.

The role includes the following responsibilities:


  • Contribute to leading the development of clear opportunities for Design for Planet programmes 
  • Manage the resources, and relationships with partners, clients and Design Council Experts to ensure exceptional standards of service and content development and delivery in this mission
  • Ensure projects are delivered to agreed contracts, meeting high quality standards, financial targets and all deliverables on time


  • Develop 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
  • Provide insight, advice and support to across Design Council regarding sustainable and regenerative design both to colleagues and external audiences
  • Provide high quality client and stakeholder management

Programme Management 

  • Identify strategically relevant opportunities, log them on CRM and develop proposals, securing internal and external support
  • Monitor activity across programmes, sharing information, learning and applying improved techniques
  • Manage the gathering of service data, evidence and resulting insight to support the effective delivery of Design Council services and their continuous improvement and development
  • Ensure that evaluation data and details are captured appropriately, and actively contribute to final reports

Other responsibilities

  • Contribute to the dissemination of best practice
  • Support the Director, Head and Programme Leads develop strategy and new opportunities
  • Support in the professional development of colleagues
  • Undertake any other reasonable tasks/duties as required.

Corporate Responsibilities

  • Demonstrate leadership in the identification and management of risks and financial control which face both the organisation and your specific area of responsibility
  • Ensure you comply with the Design Council operational policies and procedures including financial and risk management, project management and evaluation processes, brand guidelines and internal health and safety policy
  • To comply with management policy, including GDPR, information security and confidentiality.

This role will involve some evening work and travel as required in accordance with the needs of the projects and programmes


Does this sound like you?

We are looking for an passionate designer who is fired by our Design for Planet mission. This is an opportunity to help develop existing offers and services, and explore new innovative work with partners and clients to address the multiple challenges of the climate and nature crises as they impacts on places and communities. Your curiosity and creativity drive you to embrace new areas and sectors to apply your design expertise in a transition towards regenerative design.


Expert Knowledge and Qualifications

  • Academic and professional qualifications, or associated discipline, or equivalent experience in landscape architecture, urban design, architecture, environmental planning related subjects
  • Professional experience of engaging with and operating across the planning system in a variety of roles
  • Skills sought across a selection of the following practices relevant to design, placemaking and the climate and nature crisis: sustainable planning and development; landscape character appraisals and assessments; environmental impact assessments; developing green and blue infrastructure frameworks, ecological assessments; biodiversity net gain; flooding and drainage assessments; assessing embodied and operational carbon performance; whole life cycle analysis


  • Senior experience of overseeing a portfolio of projects, ensuring insights and perspectives are extracted from these and used as the basis for thought leadership and profile raising
  • Experience of participating in processes of articulating and assessing design quality such as Design Coding and Design Review
  • Exposure to developing community-led responses to planning eg. through engaging in neighbourhood plans
  • Significant experience of building relationships with external organisations and local authorities and ensuring good client engagement and management
  • Proven track record of success in managing complex multiple programmes with delivery on time and on to budget
  • Proven business development experience including winning significant income with existing clients and providing information which supports income generation


  • Personal desire and curiosity to develop and evolve current design practice to prioritise climate relevant approaches
  • Proven external influencing skills which raises the profile of Design Council including writing thought pieces, representing Design Council externally through public speaking and building and leveraging their network for positive impact
  • Familiarity and openness to applying systems thinking in terms of effectiveness of the Design for Planet offer to clients
  • Demonstrable line management skills, leading by examples and by providing consistent line management support and mentoring
  • Ability to work collaboratively - building creative consensus, and consulting and involving others internally and externally
  • Good IT skills a skilled and advanced user of all Microsoft Platforms and other applications used by Design Council, with the ability to train others


  • Boundless Curiosity. Curious, up to date with design debates and relevant sustainability environments. 
  • Inspire Possibility. Passionate about creating change through design and the impact on our Design for Planet mission.
  • Powerful Together. Inclusive and collaborative and supportive of others across the organisation
Climate and Sustainability  Senior Programme Manager Job Listing Urban Design Group
Closing Date
Sunday 7 August 2022