Executive Recruitment

Director of Accommodation, Catering and Events (ACE)

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University of Edinburgh
Excellent Package
Closing date:
17th December
Job Ref:

Recruitment timetable

Closing Date
17 December 2019
Preliminary Interview
6-10 January 2020
Final Panel
WC 27 January 2020


Director of Accommodation, Catering and Events (ACE)

The University of Edinburgh has a distinguished history dating back to the sixteenth century and is consistently rated as one of the world’s best. It is situated at the heart of the vibrant and beautiful city of Edinburgh which is one of Europe’s most thriving business and cultural capitals, regarded as one of the best places to live and work in the UK. The University has a student body of c.40,000 (of which c.46% are international), around 15,000 staff and a turnover of c.£1bn.

The higher education sector is facing a number of significant challenges, and the Director of Accommodation, Catering and Events will sit at the heart of delivering quality services to students, staff and external visitors. The successful candidate will be key to shaping and driving the University’s core assets to optimise returns, whilst leading a team to provide service-focused residential facilities and hospitality that support world-class academic activities, and an exceptional student experience, critical to the successful delivery of Strategy 2030.

This is one of the most exciting and important professional roles within the University sector, responsible for the largest portfolio of student and staff accommodation in the UK, and a combined income across Accommodation, Catering & Events (ACE) of £87.2M. The successful candidate will be responsible for conferences and core events across the University campuses, and for the University’s involvement in the wide variety of Edinburgh Festivals, including Edinburgh Fringe, when over 1 million visitors arrive on campus each August.

The University is seeking a highly-experienced and strategic senior leader, with significant commercial awareness and a proven track record of leading and managing a large, complex portfolio including property, staff and budgets. The successful candidate will have the ability to engage with the senior management team, the Court of the University (the University’s non- executive board) and other key internal and external stakeholders.  

Beyond developing the day-to-day effectiveness of ACE, candidates will need to demonstrate the ability to innovate, lead change initiatives and respond quickly to the rapidly changing economic and political environment in Scotland, the UK and internationally. They will also play a full role in delivering strategic priorities such as the University’s internationalisation agenda, widening participation, its growing engagement with the private sector and wider city to underpin Edinburgh as a destination of choice, its commercialisation and sustainability goals.

For more information, including how to apply, contact our advising partners at GatenbySanderson: Ludovica Orlando 0207 426 3993 or Alison Elton 07785 614435.

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How To Apply

To apply for this role, please submit an up to date copy of your CV, along with a Supporting Statement that addresses the criteria set out in the person specification, using examples to demonstrate how you meet the essential requirements. Please provide your home, work, mobile and email contact details and let us know of any dates when you are not available or where you may have difficulty with the indicative timetable. You should also provide the names, positions, organisations and contact details for two referees, one of whom should be your current or most recent employer. If you do not wish us to approach your referees without your prior permission, please state this clearly.

Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an automated email to confirm that you have applied. If you do not receive this email, please make contact with GatenbySanderson.


The following consultants are managing this role and will be happy to answer any questions that are not covered in the person specification on the next webpage.

Ludovica Orlando
020 7426 3993
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