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Head of Finance and Commercial Operations

Business & Corporate Services


Unity Partnership

Head of Finance and Commercial Operations
Unity Partnership Limited

Ref: UNITY/OL-40516

Contract: Permanent  

Salary: £68,000 - £75,000 

Hours: 37.5 per week

Based: Henshaw House, Cheapside, Oldham. OL1 1NY

Closing Date: Wednesday 23rd September 2020

Shortlisting & Interview Dates: TBC.


Job Description & Person Specification.docx
Oldham Right to Work in the UK.doc

Role Overview:

As the Company lead finance officer, take primary responsibility for executing the company’s financial plans, managing the company's finances, including financial planning, management of financial risks, record-keeping, and financial reporting.  Ensure appropriate quality assurance and correct corporate governance is in place and adhered to across the Company.


As the commercial lead officer, oversee all commercial activities of the Company maximising all opportunities for profit generation, implementing strategies to drive revenue and guiding service areas to develop income opportunities


Key Responsibilities:

  • To ensure the effective financial management of the Company and to maintain appropriate systems of financial control and reporting;
  • To provide leadership of the Company Financial & Commercial section and to work with Service Heads to implement financial plans, provide advice and monitoring to help service areas achieve successful outcomes;
  • To ensure appropriate corporate controls, quality assurance, compliance and risk management is in place and adhered to;
  • To embed and ensure effective systems for target setting, performance monitoring and management arrangements are in place and to provide timely and direct intervention when necessary to sustain high standards of corporate, people and service based performance;
  • To ensure effective commercial and risk management arrangements are in place across service areas and that all variable projects and programmes across the Company have appropriate commercial oversight.


Key Requirements:

To succeed in this role you will need as a minimum:

  • At least 8 years’ experience of leading a finance function within an organisation and delivering an effective and successful finance service;
  • Significant experience of Limited Company accounting, including P&L (£multi-million budgets) and Companies Act regulatory arrangements;
  • Significant experience of operating at a strategic level in a complex organisation with a wide range of service functions;
  • Commercial Experience - taking a commercial lead role on major projects; maximising commercial opportunities and exploiting alternative delivery models;
  • Good understanding of Local Authority governance and finance; experience of working with Local Government officers and elected members.

About Us:


Unity Partnership Ltd is a wholly owned Company of Oldham Council.  The Company provides a range of important services to the residents, communities and businesses across the borough including Customer Services, Revenues & Benefits, Highways Engineering and Property Technical Services.  In addition, the Company provides business support services to the Council and other partners, which include ICT and Digital, Transactional HR & Payroll and also Accounts Receivable and Payable.  The Company also has a small consultancy and business change function.  Whilst the majority of the services are provided to the Council, for a non-profit making fee, there is an element of commercial service delivery to external customers.  This commercial income is becoming more and more important as we seek to help deliver best value to the Council as our shareholders.


The Company has a turnover of circa £20m and details on our accounts can be found via Companies House.  We employ circa 365 staff supported by approximately 45 agency staff (currently) and our business model is based upon three strands.  Firstly, the delivery of our core services to the Council (circa £12m income) in which we strive to deliver an excellent service to the borough and to work closely with the Council service areas to achieve their objectives.  Second, we deliver a significant amount of important and complex capital projects which are usually funded through Capital Funding (circa £6m); this is mainly variable income and thus we utilise a range of permanent and agency staff to help deliver these projects supported by externally commissioned third parties.  Third, we seek to deliver a range of external commercial income from work that may be either within or outside the Borough of Oldham (circa £2m).


There is a small corporate centre within the Company, with a Chief Operating Officer (COO) providing the day to day leadership of the organisation, working on behalf of the Board.  There are four Directors, all of whom are appointed by the Council and comprise three elected members and the Oldham Council Director of Finance.  In addition, the Shareholders have appointed the Oldham Council Deputy Chief Executive as Managing Director, a role that primarily acts as the Shareholder representative and to whom the COO reports to.  Supporting the COO is a small team comprising the Finance and Commercial section, Skills, Apprenticeships & Liaison Manager and Office Manager.  Additional corporate support is provided by an HR Business Partner, HR Advisor, Legal and Procurement advisors all of whom are provided by the Council. 


The role of Head of Finance and Commercial will lead the Finance and Commercial Section and will report to the Chief Operating Officer


Oldham Council is committed to developing a Co-operative future; one where citizens, partners and staff work together to improve the borough.  Whilst Unity Partnership is a separate legal entity, as a wholly owned Company of the Council, we operate in a manner that seeks to embody the ethos of public service (noting that the majority of our income is from public funding) but with the benefit of agility, flexibility and business tempo that comes from being a separate Company.


Anyone joining Unity Partnership is coming into an ambitious organisation with big plans. We are working hard to build a brighter future for our Borough and we need people from a wide range of backgrounds to continue delivering the best for our communities.


To find out more about who we are, what we do and why you should join us please visit our website

salary from




working hours

full time

application deadline

11 59 pm

23rd Sep 2020

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