We are recruiting for an Operations Manager to oversee the effective operation of our seven playing fields across London.

This is an exciting opportunity for a dynamic, highly motivated individual to join a much-respected charity that has been serving London since 1890. The successful applicant will be a key player in a committed and passionate Head Office team where there is a strong emphasis on teamwork and innovation.

London Playing Fields Foundation is the leading charity for the provision, protection, and promotion of playing fields in London.

Our vision is to create a happier, healthier, more cohesive London by encouraging more people to play sport on affordable, accessible, and attractive playing fields. We believe that playing fields are more than expanses of open space and are places where the lives of local people and particularly those from disadvantaged groups can be improved.

Our mission is to provide a place to play sport forever. We have accumulated a vast amount of knowledge and expertise on playing fields over the last 131 years and we wish to put it to good effect by strengthening our strategic role as the first port of call on all playing fields issues in the capital.

We work with key partners to ensure that there are robust protection measures in place to halt the loss of playing fields and to safeguard them for current and future generations. Whilst we cannot change the past and reclaim lost playing fields, we can influence the future and ensure community playing fields are better used by local people. We have six main audiences: schools, colleges, universities, clubs, disadvantaged groups and the inactive.

In addition to providing pitches for organised sport, we deliver several innovative projects to extend our reach and ensure that use of our facilities have wider long lasting social and public health benefits.

In line with its charitable objectives the core responsibility of the organisation is to serve the sport and recreation needs of Londoners. We protect playing fields by restoring them to full use and provide schools and clubs with somewhere to play and somewhere to practise. We continue to seek new opportunities to expand our activities and, as the Foundation does not receive any direct financial support from central or local government towards the operation of its grounds, we also need to acquire additional sources of finance and support.

Key responsibilities of the Operations Manager:

  1. Take overall operational management responsibility for all the Foundation’s facilities and ensuring that they are fit for purpose and comply with the relevant legislation. We own and manage seven grounds across London.
  2. Ensure that each ground delivers the Foundation’s Charitable objectives in the most cost-effective way.
  3. Update the schedule of operational and capital expenditure and identify priorities.
  4. Assist the Finance Officer in the preparation of budgets for individual grounds.
  5. Oversee the implementation of all the policies and legislation relating to the grounds including responding to a changing environment for example Covid- 19 or changes to legislation and policy.
  6. Oversee the various leases connected with the operation of the grounds.
  7. Procure and coordinate the external contractors who service the Foundation’s buildings and machinery.
  8. Lead on overall health and safety management across the organisation.
  9. Manage non-sporting bookings on the grounds such as film companies, polling stations etc.
  10. Manage catering contracts where applicable
  11. Keep the Risk Register up to date
  12. Provide on the day support at the various LPFF fundraising events

Other general responsibilities:

a)     Manage the operations of the grounds and report to the CEO on performance.

b)     Attend Trustee meetings including the Full Council, Finance and General Purposes Committee and Funding and Communications Committee.

Qualities required:

  • A dynamic, innovative, and energetic team player with degree level background
  • A hands-on approach with the ability to work as part of a small team.
  • A passion for sport and an understanding of its impact
  • A reliable problem solver with the ability to adapt to variable workloads.
  • Willingness and ability to take day to day responsibility for the operation of LPFF grounds.
  • An analytical mind
  • Able to multi-task and to respond to tight deadlines.
  • An ability to take initiative and reach solutions within agreed timeframes.
  • Strong people skills and willingness to establish good working relationships with suppliers and machinery servicers.

Essential requirements:

  • Demonstrable Contract Management experience.
  • Finance/business skills including the ability to model budgets
  • An understanding of the current issues facing the Charity World
  • Ability to identify/assess risk and to performance manage the work of contractors and professional advisors
  • Highly developed communication skills and the ability to interact and influence a range of audiences.
  • Experience of managing teams.
  • Understanding of and a commitment to equal opportunities and ability to apply this understanding to the job.
  • An appreciation of and commitment to the aims and values of LPFF. 
  • A team player willing to support colleagues in their respective roles when the need arises

Desirable requirements:

  • An understanding of the work of local authorities and National Governing Bodies of Sport and in particular a knowledge of the ground’s maintenance environment
  • An awareness of the National Planning Policy Framework and its implications for playing fields.
  • Qualification in Health and Safety and experience of undertaking risk assessments for working practices
  • Knowledge and experience of Grant Making Bodies and their funding criteria.
  • Well-developed IT skills including knowledge of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Current valid UK Driving licence.

When we shortlist for this job, and when we interview, candidates will be assessed on their knowledge, experience and skills as set out in the job description, using the selection criteria set out here and on the person specification.

For your application to be considered please send by the closing date of 26th November 2021 the following:

  • CV
  • Personal statement, of not more than three sides of A4, stating why you want the job, what you think you could bring to it and how your experience to date relates to the person specification.
  • Details of two references, one of whom should be your existing or last employer.
  • Your notice period from any existing employment.
  • Your current or last salary.

Your application should be emailed to jo.mckenzie@lpff.org.uk.

LPFF is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from individuals with a disability. Should applicants require any support please contact Jo McKenzie.

Whilst all applications will be carefully considered, if you do not hear from LPFF within one week of the closing date, please note you have been unsuccessful on this occasion.

All successful candidates will be contacted within one week of the closing date and interviews are expected to take place as follows:

  • Initial interview will be held virtually in w/c 6th December 2021
  • Second interview, if invited, in w/c 13th December at one of the LPFF grounds

If you would like to discuss this role informally, please email jo.mckenzie@lpff.org.uk with your contact details and the Chief Executive Alex Welsh will call you.

Benefits: 25 days’ holiday plus Bank Holidays and a contributory pension.

Location: We are currently following a hybrid arrangement with a combination of home and office-based working. This is under constant review to reflect the Covid-19 situation.


Full Time

Closing date:
Friday, 26 November 2021 - 12:00pm

£45,000-£50,000 depending on experience

London & East


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