CLES is recruiting!

External Affairs Manager (12 month maternity cover)


 £28,000 – £30,000 FTE pro-rata (part-time job share optional)

Progressive economics for people and place

The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) is the UK’s leading, independent think and do tank realising progressive economics for people and place. Our aim is to achieve social justice, good local economies and excellent public services for everyone, everywhere.

Established in 1986, CLES undertakes a range of activities including policy advice and research, events and training, working with our membership and consultancy advice. There are four main strands to our work: local wealth building, deepening democracy, creating great places and supporting excellent public services.

It is an exciting time to join the CLES team as our work continues to diversify and our impact and influence grows.

About the role

It will be your job to ensure that our key messages, including policy and research findings, are communicated in an inspiring and targeted way, so that our diverse audiences hear what we have to say. The role is broad and varied: we want you to manage our overarching approach to external communications, while also undertaking the day-to-day management and development of CLES’ communications channels.

We envisage that the ideal candidate will have experience of fulfilling a broad range of external communication activities. You will have excellent examples of where you have impacted on an organisation’s reach or profile. You will be self-motivated and relish the challenge of being the only communications specialist within a small team, taking over the reins for a maternity cover period. You will be a creative thinker and highly organised, with excellent team skills. You will have a passion for impactful communication and a real appreciation of the important role external communication plays in helping an organisation like CLES to make a difference.

CLES is committed to providing equal opportunities for everyone regardless of their background. We acknowledge that people from certain backgrounds are under-represented in policy making and we are committed to doing what we can to correct this.

How to apply

To apply please submit a CV, a cover letter (maximum 2 pages) and a completed equal opportunities form to Emma Hall (

As part of our equality, diversity and inclusion policy, we are committed to name blind recruitment. To enable us to do this, please send your documents as word files rather than PDF. 

The closing date for applications: 10am, Monday 18th March.

Interviews will be held on: Friday 29th  March.

Applicants should be available to start in May.

For an informal and confidential discussion about the post, please contact Neil McInroy, Chief Executive of CLES on 0161 832 7871.