New Board Members Required

The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair is the most prestigious and established craft selling event in the North. Since its launch in 2008, the GNCCF has become nationally renowned and synonymous with excellence, showcasing over 3000 exhibitors, attracting over 85,000 visitors and selling over £3m worth of craft.

Great Northern Events NW Ltd, the not-for-profit organisation behind this award-winning annual fair, is seeking new Board members to add diversity and help manage its events, community outreach and strategic business development. 

We welcome candidates, whatever their background and life experience, who share our passion for craft/design and can bring fresh perspectives, experience and skills to enrich our Board as outlined below.


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Great Northern Events (GNE) was founded by Ann-Marie Franey and Angela Mann out of their shared love for craft and a desire to create the first high quality, selected craft fair in the North. Now in its 15th year, the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair (GNCCF) is firmly established as one of the top fairs in the UK and a must-attend event for makers and visitors alike, taking place this year from 13-16 October in its new permanent home of Manchester’s iconic Victoria Baths.

GNE is a leading organisation in the UK craft sector and has been instrumental in contributing to the craft economy in the North. At GNE, we are passionate about promoting, and providing opportunities for, UK designer-makers from new graduate talent to established artists, as well as engaging audiences with fresh content and experiential programming.  When the pandemic forced the cancellation of in-person events, GNE launched GNCCFonline which have attracted a global reach. 


In addition to our fairs, we take great pride in our outreach programme. Keen to work with people who do not normally engage with the arts, GNE has partnered with The Oasis Centre, a charity in Gorton East Manchester, to deliver free craft workshops for their service users. To date, we have hosted over 50 artist-led sessions and engaged over 1000 members of their local community. In 2019, GNE commissioned an Artist in Residence to work with the Oasis community to create a public artwork for their new building. This outreach work is an important strand of GNE and we are keen to develop our partnerships to work with young people and other communities. 

The GNCCF has been supported annually by Arts Council England since 2009, through the National Lottery Project Grants.


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The Board is responsible for: helping to shape strategy, monitoring progress, ensuring effective and compliant operation, overseeing the financial situation and championing the organisation.

Non-Executive Board Members are expected to attend four board meetings per year, but also to participate in the life of the organisation between board meetings, providing expertise and advising the staff team, and acting in an ambassadorial role for Great Northern Events and its activities. Board members are appointed for an initial three-year term, which is reviewed and renewable, with the agreement of the Board. There is no limit on the number of terms that a non-executive can serve.  The roles are unpaid voluntary positions but reasonable expenses are reimbursed. 


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We wish to recruit a number of board members, and expect that different candidates will bring a range of skills and experience to Great Northern Events from the attributes listed.


  • Commitment to the objectives and strategic development of Great Northern Events
  • Commitment to the time and duties required of a Board member
  • Commitment to act as an advocate for the organisation and our work 
  • Understanding of, and willingness to address, equalities and diversity issues 
  • Generosity to offer personal and business skills when called on to help 
  • Contacts and influence in your own local, personal or professional circles 
  • An ability to think strategically and creatively
  • An ability to work collaboratively as part of a team
  • Sensitivity and respect for confidentiality

We are looking for people with experience in one or more of the following areas: 

  • Developing business models in organisations comparable to Great Northern Events
  • Strategic planning skills
  • Marketing and PR, including social media
  • Audience development
  • Fundraising
  • Entrepreneurial income generation
  • Developing learning, outreach and community engagement
  • Addressing Equalities, Diversity and Inclusivity
  • Expertise and knowledge of boards or senior leadership

In addition, we are keen to hear from people with experience in any of the following:

  • Working in, or with, Higher Education
  • Working with museums/galleries in a curatorial/management role

We recognise, celebrate and value diversity and welcome applications from candidates, whatever their background, life experience and career path. We want to create a diverse and inclusive board and encourage people from those groups that are currently under-represented in the craft sector, including disabled applicants and applicants from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse backgrounds, to apply. 

The current Board members will be responsible for recruiting new Board members.  Prospective board members who best meet our requirements will be invited to meet with some of our existing board members.

Closing date: midnight 3 July 2022.

Please complete the application form below.  All information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence.