*NEW JOB* Understanding Welsh Places Project Lead

The IWA is an independent think tank working to make Wales better. Our vision is to help create a Wales where everyone can flourish. An independent charity, we are funded solely by our members, charitable trusts and foundations and our own commercial activity. We act as a catalyst for change. We stimulate challenging debate and work with our members and others to spark practical, new ideas and capitalise on Wales’ potential.


About this project 

The Understanding Welsh Places website (UWP) presents useful, available data about more than 300 places in Wales in a format that is quick and easy to use. The site is designed to support and inspire communities, place makers and policy makers to make positive changes in the places where they live and work.  The new website is loosely based on a highly successful similar undertaking in Scotland, known as Understanding Scottish Places, www.usp.scot


A consortium of Welsh partners, convened by the IWA, has shaped a bespoke version for Wales, drawing on existing expertise and experience. The IWA has been contracted by funders Carnegie UK Trust (CUKT) to work with others to shape the ongoing delivery of the UWP project. The development of the website itself is funded by both CUKT and the Welsh Government.


The UWP Project Lead will lead the effective and collaborative delivery of the project by the consortium of UWP partners, and will play a key role in communicating the project externally.


Who are we looking for?

We are looking for a dynamic UWP Project Lead to join our small, friendly, digitally savvy and high-performing team.    


The successful candidate will have great organisational, communication and people skills, be digitally literate, curious about the connections between different policy areas and will be keen to learn new skills on the job.  


The UWP Project Lead will work closely with the IWA Director and our Policy, Projects and External Affairs Manager. The post will be based in the IWA’s Cardiff Bay offices, however some flexible or remote working will be required. Occasional travel may also be required as part of the role.


There are two main aspects to this role:


  1. Play a key role in leading the ongoing effective planning, coordination and delivery of the UWP project with the consortium of partners in line with the agreed timescale
  2. Develop and maintain strong partnerships and communicate effectively with the consortium of partners and other stakeholders to maximise the project’s impact and positively influence key audiences


Responsibilities will include, but not be limited to:

Project planning, coordination and delivery

  • Lead the effective delivery of the project work plan within a tight timescale 
  • Coordinate and monitor simultaneous work streams within the project
  • Manage communications with and liaison between contractor teams
  • Draft and edit text for the Understanding Welsh Places website
  • Provide a secretariat function (arranging meetings, taking minutes, following up on agreed actions) for the Understanding Welsh Places consortium of partners consisting of respected practitioners, academics and digital experts
  • Produce regular internal and external reports on project progress, including for  project funders
  • Capture learning from the project and its process so it can be shared with others
  • Manage a small project budget effectively


Developing partnerships and communications

  • Ensure effective communication with the consortium of partners and with all key stakeholders 
  • Deliver the project communications strategy and disseminate information to project stakeholders and key audiences across Wales
  • Identify opportunities to influence policy makers and opinion formers using UWP insights (working with the IWA’s Policy and External Affairs Manager)
  • Prepare media content on issues relating to the project
  • Plan and manage project-related events (working with the IWA’s Partnership and Events Manager)
  • Promote the project and its outputs on social media
  • Provide general administrative support to the IWA Director and team


Person specification


  • Excellent organisational abilities
  • A self-starter who is able to work independently and take their own initiative
  • Able to work flexibly as part of a small team
  • Ability to manage workload and deliver to deadlines
  • Experience of working with different stakeholder groups across a range of sectors
  • Great people skills, and experience in developing relationships with key stakeholders across a wide range of sectors
  • Proven ability to communicate at all levels, with both technical and non-technical audiences, and to simplify complex issues and concepts, both through presentations and through clear written documents
  • Good understanding and experience of technology to include use of full Microsoft Office package / Google equivalent
  • Curious about data and how it can be better used to underpin policy making
  • Educated to University Degree level or equivalent experience 



  • An understanding of the policy landscape in Wales, including regeneration, towns and place-based development
  • Experience of delivering training/teaching and developing training materials
  • Experience of delivering and administering research projects 
  • Experience of WordPress or similar website management, as well as experience of social media management
  • Ability to write and speak Welsh


Terms and Conditions  

This is a full time role for 37.5 hours per week up to the end of December 2020, with a possible extension beyond that, depending on funding which we are actively seeking.   The salary is £30,000 per annum and there are 29 days annual leave (pro-rata depending on start date). We welcome secondments from other organisations; we are a supportive and flexible employer.


How to apply

Please send a CV and short covering letter (each document a maximum of 2 sides of A4) setting out how you fit the person specification. This should be sent to info@iwa.org.uk by 5pm on Thursday 16 January 2020.


We would be grateful if you would also complete our Equality and Diversity Monitoring form when you apply, which can be found here. This is voluntary, but helps us to ensure that we are being inclusive in our recruitment. 


Interviews will be held on Thursday 23 January in Cardiff.  We hope that the successful candidate will be able to start as soon as possible after that.


If you have any queries please call Elinor Shepley on 02920 484387, who will be able to arrange an informal conversation regarding the role.