Post offered: Town Team Manager – Consultant

Download as pdf: Town Team Manager – Consultant advert

Community Services Directorate
Forest Hill, Sydenham & Kirkdale Portas Pilot

Town Team Manager

Scope of work

Local Assemblies
2nd Floor Laurence House
Lewisham Town Hall

020 8314 7034

October 2012

1.  Introduction

1.1 London Borough of Lewisham is seeking a Town Team Manager for the SEE3 Portas Pilot which covers the areas of Forest Hill, Sydenham and Kirkdale.

1.2  The Authority envisage this role being undertaken on a full time, consultancy basis. Candidates are invited to bid for the delivery of this role.

1.3 Please submit bids for this project by noon on Monday 12 November 2012. Submissions, and any  enquiries and clarifications should be directed to Petra Marshall:

Petra Marshall
020 8314 7034
Local Assemblies, 2nd floor Laurence House, Catford Road, London, SE6 4RU

2.  Background

The Portas Review

2.1 In 2011 the government commissioned retail expert Mary Portas to conduct an independent  review of the high street’s future.

2.2  The Portas Review identified the need to put the heart back into the centre of our high streets, re-imagined as destinations for socialising, culture, health, well-being, creativity and learning as well as places that will develop and sustain new and existing markets and businesses. High Streets should become places where we go to engage with other people in our communities, where shopping is just one part of a rich mix of activities. The new high streets won’t just be about selling goods.

2.3 Following the review, the government and the GLA have made £2.7m available to run a series of pilots trialling her recommendations.

2.4 A dedicated group of volunteers working together across Sydenham, Forest Hill and Kirkdale bid for £80,000 to revitalise the high street and won one of 27 Portas Pilot grants in the second round of bidding.

2.5 The funding has been matched with £100,000 funding from the Phase Two development of Bell Green and a further £15,000 from the High Street Innovation Fund.

The Forest Hill, Sydenham and Kirkdale Portas bid

2.6  The SEE3, Forest Hill, Sydenham and Kirkdale’s Portas Pilot vision is of a high-street where established independent traders are an integral part of the community, new traders bring innovation and further quality, boundaries between retail, culture and community blur, energy of active citizens is harnessed, new ideas are championed and space that is secured for start-up enterprises to develop is readily accessible.

2.7 SEE3 seeks to create a string of destinations that are complementary, harnessing the distinct and unique character of the individual offers under a shared vision. The five key objectives are as follows:

  • to test a coherent approach to High Street development in an area of urban sprawl where one neighbourhood merges into another.
  • to increase the sustainability of the High Street through layering uses.
  • to build on the existing blending of retail and community use to enhance the High Street as aHub Streetand cultural destination.
  • to create a fit, agile High Street that can successfully adapt to changing needs.
  • to harness and build on our strong active citizenship to enhance the High Street

2.8  The SEE3 pilot will comprise three key projects to test this ambition:

2.9 Jack and Jill. Two high street shops (one in Sydenham, the other in Forest Hill) will be renovated for creative community engagement via exhibitions, showcasing local products, business workshops, pop up events and use as a Town Team base. They will be used to engender a sense of place and gather details of people’s current shopping habits and their ambitions for the High Street.

2.10  The Shop Revolution. A high impact project with lasting sustainable benefits, Shop Revolution will introduce landlords and leaseholders to the concept of ‘meanwhile’ use – short term leases which keep the unit in use between tenants. Up to 12 vacant units will be refurbished and let to an eclectic mix of businesses and organisations on a pop up or trial basis giving new businesses the chance to test their business skills.

2.11 Market Makers. More than a market, this will build on the success of the Girton Road car boot sale and the Forest Hill Food Fair to pilot offerings in Sydenham, Forest Hill and Kirkdale with the aim of finding long term tenants for our vacant units. By giving traders the opportunity to test market demand for their offering, they will be able to refine their business plan before committing to a long term lease.

2.12 In addition to these three main projects, the pilot also seeks to improve signage, encourage people to shop locally and provide support to get more businesses online.

2.13 The Town Team will be made up of volunteers from the local area, including businesses, residents, community groups and other interested persons interested in making the SEE3 project a success. The successful bid was steered by a group of people comprising local businesses, amenity societies and elected Councillors. This group has continued as an interim Core Group to get the pilot started. SEE3 has been set up as a company limited by guarantee.

The area

2.14 Although the Forest Hill, Sydenham and Kirkdale area is home to many historic buildings and thriving communities, the area has an erroneous reputation of there being little to do.  A primary contributor to this is over 600,000 rail commuters and 10 million drivers passing through the area on their way to somewhere else and poor sign posting.  The area is physically fractured due to transport infrastructure.

2.15  In addition, the physical environment – with its cluttered streets, numerous estate agent signs and flyposting – does little to add to the presentation of existing shops.  This means that those who do visit the area do not find it attractive enough to stay and spend their time or money there. For example, the Horniman Museum alone attracts around 700,000 annual visitors which is a potential market not fully engaged.

2.16 The high street also suffers from the disengagement and negligence of some landlords in improving their units.  This is further exacerbated by the difficulty in obtaining information about who owns or rents particular units or in contacting absent landlords.

2.17 Both the reputation and the physical appearance has proved a disincentive for some retailers. The uptake of vacant units is slow – currently there is an11% vacancy rate in the area – and dwindling retail diversity on the high street. In some sections the rents are unrealistically high and the retail offer is not diverse or rarely opens.

2.18  But there is a solid base from which to build.  Alongside long-standing businesses, there have been major road improvements and the restoration of key local buildings.  Residents and traders have demonstrated commitment to improving the area through proposing and leading local initiatives, playing a key role in delivering neighbourhood improvements.  There have been locally organised pop-up events, a new youth centre, new young businesses bringing fresh ideas and energy and community library provision.

2.19 The potential of this part of the borough is recognised.  Lewisham Council lobbied to bring the London Overground line through Forest Hill and Sydenham, connecting us to London’s tube network for the first time and greatly enhancing the area’s regeneration prospects.

The Council has invested:

  • £1m to refurbish Forest Hill library which opened in 2007
  • £10m on the Forest Hill pools which opened in September 2012
  • Secured £3m from Transport for London for improvements to Sydenham high street and invested in Station Approach that started on site in September 2012 for a 52 week contract.

3. Scope of Work


3.1  To manage the activities of the SEE3 Portas Pilot in order to:

  • create an effective town team for delivery of the bid elements
  • improve the appearance of the high street
  • encourage inward investment, new businesses and reduced vacancies
  • increase footfall and local shopping
  • develop the profile of the area
  • capitalise on the strength and diversity of the local community
  • test some of the recommendations in the Portas Review

3.2 This role will develop the town team and oversee the delivery of the specific bid projects. It is not an on-going role; however it is envisaged that the need and practicalities for an ongoing role will be scoped during the period.

Key tasks

3.3 Develop the town team structure. Research models and agree model to be used for SEE3 with core group. Set-up and coordinate the SEE3 Town Team, ensuring membership of it is reflective and representative of the area. Maintain a robust database of members.

3.4 Be representative and first point of contact for SEE3. Respond to enquiries, provide information and signpost people, and attend community and trader meetings as required.

3.5  Oversee the three main strands of the pilot: The Shop Revolution, Market Makers and Jack & Jill community hubs. Ensure a cohesive approach to these three projects, identifying synergies and ensuring ongoing dialogue between the project leads.

3.6 Deliver and oversee the smaller projects associated with the bid:

  • Signage: working with local business to improve their shop signage as well as improving high street legibility through banners, car parking signs and promotional banners.
  • Shop Local scheme: to encourage residents to value and use the high street. This will include support and potentially rolling out the newly formed Totally Locally scheme in Forest Hill
  • Support the high street: including workshops for traders to become more media savvy, enabling businesses to get online and use social media as well as encouraging strong inclusive trader associations.
  • Other projects, as agreed with the Core Group

These projects are not currently fully scoped and so may change as the pilot develops; the successful candidate will be expected to work with the Core Group to deliver amended projects as required.

3.7 Promotion of SEE3 to traders and the wider community, working with the marketing committee; to include website administration.

3.8 Identify further funding opportunities, sponsorship and in-kind support. To include approaching large national retailers with a presence in the three areas to negotiate monetary and in-kind support (such as mentoring).

3.9  Undertake research in the three town centre areas to understand the baseline from which they are starting; and measure this against the impact the various SEE3 projects have had. This may include collecting data such as car park usage, footfall, business turnover, vacant units etc. This will include making use of Springboard data available to Portas Pilots.

3.10  Research and lever support and resources available to SEE3 via Portas Pilot, GLA and DCLG.

3.11 Support the Core group in their duties; including arranging and attending meetings, chairing meetings, taking minutes and following up actions.

3.12 Oversee the requirements of the SEE3 company limited by guarantee, supporting the directors to fulfil their legal obligations (e.g. annual returns and accounts) and make changes to the company as required (e.g. articles, membership etc).

3.13  Cooperate with different funders’ monitoring requirements; providing project delivery updates, financial evidence and other information as required, in a timely manner.

3.14  Full responsibility for the SEE3 budget; to include maintaining financial records of spend, advising the Core Group on projected and actual spend; and making payments as required

3.15 Working with the Core Group determine the need for an ongoing town team manager, scope options and resource implications for a sustainable role.


3.16 Delivery of a well developed and representative Town Team

3.17 Positive communications and image of SEE3 and its projects

3.18 Delivery of the smaller elements of the pilot bid (see 3.6)

3.19 Additional value created through sponsorship, volunteers and other means

3.20 SEE3 LIMITED company requirements fulfilled

3.21 Clear and robust budget monitoring processes

Timescales / milestones

3.22 The timetable below represents the Core Team’s initial proposals for delivery of the main initiatives that form SEE3.

3.23 As part of the submission, candidates are expected to make their own suggestions on how best to deliver the key tasks set out above.

Month Activities
Nov ‘12 Inception meeting: meet with the Core Team to discuss role, outputs and reporting.
Nov ‘12 – Dec ‘13 Consultation and engagement with stakeholders during development period, regular communication of progress of SEE3
Nov ‘12 – Mar ‘13 Community hub activities
Oct ‘12 – June ‘13 Market Makers
Oct ‘12 – June ‘13 The Shop Revolution
Feb ‘13 – Sep ‘13 Delivery of other smaller elements of pilot
Jan ‘13 – Mar ‘14 Evaluation of two phases of SEE3 – first phase to January 13, second phase to September 13 and third phase evaluation to end of pilot


4. Submission requirements

 Key requirements

4.1  London Borough of Lewisham are looking for organisations or individuals who have a proven track record working in a high street rejuvenation environment. The successful candidate will be experienced in working in London, ideally in the local area of the pilot, on projects of a similar nature and scale.

4.2 Candidates should demonstrate expertise and experience in the following areas:

  • Project management and administration
  • Experience of working with small businesses, shops, landlords and community groups
  • Creative and energetic approach to problem-solving
  • Interpersonal skills, working in collaboration and liaising with multiple stakeholders, including volunteers
  • Ability to review finances and consider how to sustain a Town Team Manager at the end of the pilot period


4.3 Candidates are asked to submit their bids in electronic format to Petra Marshall by noon, Monday 12 November 2012. Submissions can be emailed to

4.4 Submissions should include the following elements:

  • name of individual / organisation and full contact details
  • your proposed approach and project plan, with timeline (including start and end dates)
  • your experience, knowledge and track record of working in similar projects
  • CV of all members who will be working on the project
  • cost schedule setting out in detail your fee (including number of days and day/hourly rate), and what resources you need from us (financial and people)
  • contact details of two references
  • consideration to be given to opportunities for adding value over and above the key requirements

4.5 Candidates are required to maintain adequate indemnity insurance cover (and provide copies of Certificates of Insurance to the client upon request).

5. Selection and timeframe

Key timescales

5.1  The key timescales for this tender are as follows:

Tender issued                                                             Monday 22 October

Deadline for submissions                                            Monday 12 November, noon

Notification of shortlisted candidates                          Wednesday 14 November

Presentation / interview with shortlisted candidates   Tuesday 20 November

Appointment / start of contract                                   Monday 26 November (or as close to as possible)

Evaluation criteria

5.2 Your submission will be evaluated by a panel consisting of one or more Council officers and representatives from the SEE3 Core Group.

5.3 The submissions will be evaluated using the following weighted criteria. You should keep the criteria in mind when drafting your proposal.

Strength of project proposal and alignment with SEE3 objectives    40%

Cost / value for money                                                                       30%

Technical ability and previous experience                                         30%

5.4  The Authority is not bound to accept the lowest cost submission, and reserves the discretion to accept or not accept any submission.

6. Budget and payments

6.1  The budget for this role is £30,000

6.2  In addition a budget will be made available to the successful candidate to implement the following elements of the project. Please note that these are indicative costs at this stage and will be confirmed by the Core Group at contract inception, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Signage – £20,000

Shop Local – £12,000

Support the high street – £10,000

6.3   The appointment will be made subject to the Authority’s standard terms and conditions for contractors and suppliers.

6.4   Contract payments will be made in accordance with the Council’s standard payment terms.

6.5 Payment of fees will be staged. The payment stages should be outlined by the candidates in their submissions and agreed with the Authority at the inception meeting.

7. Working methods

Quality and performance standards

7.1 Performance will be monitored through regular meetings with the Authority and the core team (and their successor once a formal structure is in place). The successful candidate will be expected to provide update reports at key stages of the project, to be agreed at inception.

7.2 More detailed evaluation and reporting expectations will be discussed at the project inception meeting.

7.3 Mechanisms must be put in place to foresee any slippage in budget or timescales early on. The Authority must be made aware immediately (reporting mechanisms to be agreed on inception) should any slippage occur.


7.4 The successful candidate will be appointed by London Borough of Lewisham and will report to the SEE3 Core Group (and their successor once a formal structure is in place). The contract may be moved from the London Borough of Lewisham to the new formal structure once it is in place.

7.5  The successful candidate will need to work closely with the core team (and their successor once a formal structure is in place), and Design for London / Greater London Authority where necessary.


Contact Details

For further information, contact

Supported by