Join the Opus ‘Head’ Board

Opus would like to ask you to join its ‘Head’ Board, one of three newly-created boards which will steer the future direction of our work in Sheffield and beyond. We believe your skills and experience would be an asset to Opus on this journey.

To apply: Please send an expression of interest detailing why you would like to join the Head Board and why you think you would be right for the role to by Friday 27th November 2020. Interviews will take place on the week beginning 7th December.

We want to recruit to this board specifically because we’re changing our business model due to Covid-19 and the long-term effects of this on the arts and culture sector. This is therefore a particularly exciting and challenging time for the team and the members of this board will be essential in navigating the company’s way forward.

Go here for more information about Opus’s journey through Covid-19.


Sheffield-based social enterprise Opus Independents Ltd (a company limited by guarantee) recently made the decision to widen its membership, keeping in mind its ‘triple bottom line’ of people, planet and profit. 

In November 2018, Opus members voted unanimously to create three classes of member to sit on three distinct boards:

  • The Hand Board – made up of current employees who have been in post for at least six months – including the company’s directors (management board), who have no special status or additional voting powers.
  • The Heart Board – made up of former employees, supporters, stakeholders, friends and advocates of the company.
  • The Head Board – made up of experienced professionals with expertise in relevant fields.

What is the ‘Head’ Board?

The Head Board is a technical board which supports the work of Opus through its collective knowledge and experience, as well as scrutinising business decisions, taking a balanced and responsible view of finances, ensuring that Opus directors have carried out due diligence and supporting the company’s strategic aims by making connections with new partners, collaborators and clients.

Through its interactions with the Hand and Heart Boards – which are responsible for maintaining day-to-day operations and upholding the company’s core values, respectively – the Head Board is a crucial element of the company’s governance, providing a counter-balance to the other boards through its informed scrutiny and constructive critique.

Person Specification

As part of our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, Opus wants to strengthen the Head Board to better reflect the diversity of our society and the people, organisations and communities we work with.

We would like to recruit people with different experience, perspectives and lived experience as well as contributing skills particularly in relation to building partnerships and collaboration across communities and sectors.

  • Individuals must share the company’s core values.
  • Individuals must have an interest in the arts, culture, politics and systemic change.
  • Individuals must engage regularly with the company’s outputs, for example through reading Now Then or attending events.
  • Individuals must have a working knowledge of Sheffield and other like-minded organisations in the UK and beyond.
  • Individuals will ideally have some technical expertise to bring into Opus, either in their own skillsets or within their existing network. This could include but is not limited to: funding and commercial income; marketing; financial management; HR & staff; organisational strategy and ‘big picture’ thinking; cross-sector collaboration; partnership work.


The remit of the Head Board is ultimately to ensure that Opus is being run responsibly – that due diligence is met in all key decisions, that financial responsibility is maintained, and that strategic opportunities and threats are not overlooked.

Areas for discussion at Head Board meetings may include, but will not be limited to: finance, human resources and staff management, fundraising, commercial sales, legal, marketing and PR, strategic planning and new projects.

The agenda for Head Board meetings will be set by the Chair, with the following guidance regarding discussion points: 

  • The decision or issue relates directly to an area of technical expertise or a particular network within the membership of the Head Board.
  • The decision or issue requires expertise outside of the current management board’s collective expertise.
  • The decision or issue has been proposed by a member of the Head Board.

The decision or issue will be discussed at the Opus AGM.

The Role

Being part of the Head Board involves:

  • Attending 4 meetings per year, plus the Opus AGM.
  • Advocating for Opus to external organisations and helping the company form new strategic partnerships.
  • Maintaining a good working knowledge of the organisation by attending its events and keeping up to speed with its output.
  • Meeting other Head Board members outside quarterly meetings as part of a working group formed around a specific area of work (where appropriate).

Being a member of the Head Board is:

  • A voluntary position, although reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.
  • A legal responsibility, in that all members are joint owners of the company but not a director or registered on Companies House. 

Vote Weighting

The Head Board is not an advisory board, because its members have binding votes on key decisions. But while Opus members of all three classes have a vote, votes are ‘weighted’ as follows:

  • Hand Board – 60%
  • Heart Board – 20%
  • Head Board – 20%

This decision was taken to ensure that Opus is fundamentally a ‘worker-controlled’ company. This means that if current employees (the Hand Board) vote unanimously in favour of a motion, it will always pass.

Opus members will review this vote weighting system at the 2020 AGM.

About Us

Opus Independents is a not-for-profit, independent organisation based in Sheffield working in culture, politics and the arts to encourage and support participation, activism and creativity. 

Opus has grown into one of the most high-profile arts and culture organisations in the city. The company is a unique local organisation with a large portfolio that spans across many areas of work. 

This is a great opportunity to become part of an organisation that runs over 100 events a year, reaches hundreds of thousands of people across the region and is dedicated to maximising the social impact of its work.

Some further information about Opus:

  • Opus currently has 14 members of staff, 6 full-time and 8 part-time, working out of its office space on Hill St, off Bramall Lane.
  • The company’s total turnover in 2018 was £320,470.
  • Current Opus projects include Now Then Magazine, Festival of Debate, Opus Distribution and Wordlife.

More information at


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