Progress, projects and making every penny count

Published : Fri 18th Sep Author : Andy Copestake, departing Director of Finance

As Director of Finance, I’ve been at the helm of the National Trust for 18 years and it’s fair to say that things have changed considerably in that time. My early years in the role involved restructuring the department, centralising processes and building a strong team to implement new ways of working. Once these elements came together, the department was in a much stronger position to be able to deliver our core functions, support the rest of the business and, vitally, enable the Trust to deliver on its ambitious conservation promises.

Of course, we’re not finished yet – we’re never finished and we are always looking for new ways to ensure that we are making best use of our financial resources, that we are making every penny count. That’s why we have some dynamic changes on the horizon for finance, as we look to implement a brand new financial model. A model which gives every National Trust property the chance to build its own financial reserve, and which ensures our money reaches the right place at the right time. How we operate our finances plays a huge part in the National Trust’s overall ambition and in driving forward its desired strategy for 2025. By delivering more commercial return, we are then able to invest in our important conservation projects, and continue to protect the UK’s many special places and spaces.

It’s a time of huge transition here at the National Trust, and there is a real feeling of positivity in the air as to what this new chapter of step change will bring. With the promise of new systems and processes being put into place, it will be fascinating to see what results and findings we’ll gain from this new model, and how we can use these to plan our overall objectives for the National Trust. The size and complexity of the organisation means that although there may be many challenges, there are also enormous commercial opportunities.

The new Director of Finance will be someone who can come in and take real ownership of our over-arching strategic objectives. Finance at the National Trust is a truly progressive area, so they’ll need to be able to think creatively and deliver solutions that stretch beyond just a financial remit. They won’t be afraid to investigate new commercial opportunities like exploring our external partnerships even further, and looking at how we can work with other charities and corporate organisations to broaden our network. They’ll be dynamic and forward-thinking in their vision, but be equally sensitive to the core values of the National Trust and our underlying messages.

It’s been a fantastic 18 years here at the National Trust, and in that time we’ve really grown and diversified as an organisation, broadening our conservation work and exploring new opportunities. But at the same time, and all the while, we’ve never lost sight of our values and our commitment to UK conservation.

It has been a truly rewarding experience and I’m immensely proud of everything we’ve achieved. I’m also excited at what the future now holds for the organisation, as we continue to move through an ever-changing landscape.

For more details about the role and to apply, please visit www.thefiguresthatcount.org.uk