Why work in Portsmouth?
Portsmouth, Britain's only island city, is just 110km south west of London. Southampton airport is a short drive from the city, and there are frequent rail links to London and the main international airports. Regular ferry sailings to and from Portsmouth's International Port connect the city to the north coasts of France and Spain, offering Europe a gateway to Britain.
Bordered by the South Downs to the north and east, and the Solent to the South, it is within easy reach of the New Forest and the other highlights of the south coast of England. Sheltered by Portsdown Hill to the north, and the Isle of Wight to the South, Portsmouth is one of the UK's warmest and driest cities.
Portsmouth provides a unique location and a diverse range of attractions and amenities, with a stunning coastline - a combination of marshes, foreshore, promenade lined beaches, working wharfs and leisure marinas. The city itself is compact and flat. With an unrivalled maritime heritage, it is simultaneously a historic city, a modern forward-looking metropolis and a seaside resort.
Parks and Open Spaces are incredibly important to the residents of the city, particularly following the period of lockdowns when usage of parks in the city spiralled. Portsmouth has a number of parks across the city together with protected areas of biodiversity at Hilsea Lines, Portsdown Hill, Farlington Marshes, Fort Cumberland, Milton Common, Eastney Beach and Baffins Pond (including designated SSSI and SINCs). The city's parks and open spaces are well loved and there are a number of friends groups supporting the parks and volunteers engaging with our Countryside Officers.
There are 760 hectares of green space accessible to the public in the city, which includes parks and gardens, natural and semi-natural urban greenspaces, green corridors, amenity greenspace, outdoor sports facilities, play areas and courts, allotments, cemeteries and countryside areas.
Who are we?
Portsmouth is a unitary authority delivering a range of public services and continuously exploring innovative ways to make improvements/deliver differently. As an ambitious authority, we are required to take an entrepreneurial approach to ensure we can keep delivering on our priorities against a range of challenges and reducing resource.
There are exciting changes happening in our Parks and Open Spaces service including:
- Victoria Park Project, a development with National Lottery Heritage Funding to revive 'The People's Park', incorporating the historical ethos of the park together with a full consultation with user groups and the community
- Enhanced sports provision at King George V playing fields, in conjunction with funding from the Football Foundation
- Planning and consultation on a new Parks and Open Spaces strategy
- Development of a central grounds maintenance depot
- Capital investment in a wide range of open space improvements
This is an exciting time to be part of Portsmouth as we continue to develop new ways of working and more joined-up approaches with our partners.
What is the role?
Reporting to the Parks Service Manager, you will be responsible for the delivery of the development of our Parks and Open Spaces including:
- Investigating feasibility options for a grounds maintenance depot site
- Working with the Football Foundation and other partners in the development of King George V Playing Fields
- Moving forward Phase 2 of the Victoria Park project to implement the consultation recommendations and project plan
- Improvements funded by allocated Capital and CIL funding
- Working with our Countryside Officers with regard to the management and development of local habitats and biodiversity
- Support to the Parks Manager in strategic development and planning
- Working with stakeholders, the community and other officers in the development of a new parks strategy
- Identifying opportunities for further community initiatives with regard to supporting our parks
This post-holder will ensure:
- The local authority has a clear approach to the development of parks and open spaces in Portsmouth
- Key projects are progressed in accordance with project and funding timescales
- The development of strong working relationships and partnerships with key stakeholders both internal and external
This exciting opportunity will involve working with staff across the city council and with professionals from a range of other agencies, working collaboratively to achieve our ambitious agenda.
The role will initially be offered on a 6 month fixed-term basis and may be extended subject to performance and review of projects.
Who is the person?
You need to have:
- A relevant HND / degree or equivalent experience
- Demonstrable experience as a project officer or equivalent role in parks management and improvement projects
- Excellent working knowledge of and experience working in parks, open space and countryside management
- A good understanding of the delivery models in relation to parks and open spaces
- A good understanding of the challenges facing parks and open spaces in an urban area and in the context of decreasing Council Parks budgets
- A good understanding of the issues, priorities and challenges in relation to joining up multi-agency/partnership service delivery and experience of working in partnership to deliver improved outcomes
- Experience working in partnership with communities
- Experience in local habitats development and environmental sustainability
- Excellent interpersonal skills, and well-developed communication and influencing skills
- Excellent written and presentational skills
- Ability to lead, influence and motivate the practice of staff and volunteers
- The ability to work effectively with a team, making constructive contributions and taking a fair share of the work
- Experience working in local government and the ability to work sensitively within the constraints of a political environment
- Excellent organisational skills