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Portfolio Director

About the role

Sustrans is an independent charity making it easier for people to walk and cycle throughout the UK. The national organisation connects people and places, creating more liveable neighbourhoods, transforming the school run and enabling happier, healthier ‘Active Travel’.

The vison and mission of Sustrans has never been more relevant. Across the UK, and particularly in Scotland, government and local authorities are pledging investment and positive action in the promotion of walking and cycling. In Scotland alone, with significantly increased policy commitments, investment in Active Travel is set to more than double in the next two years, making Scotland the most exciting part of the UK to be involved in Active Travel.

Sustrans works very closely with Central and Local Government, with schools, universities and businesses to make a real difference to peoples’ lives – improving infrastructure, creating Places for Everyone, changing behaviours and developing a culture of inclusivity for everyone to live and travel happily and safely.

The recent promotion of the previous Portfolio Director, Karen McGregor, into the role of National Director for Scotland, has created the opportunity for Sustrans to appoint a new Portfolio Director into the organisation.

The Portfolio Director is a senior level position with responsibility for ensuring that Sustrans Scotland programmes and projects sit accurately within the UK wide Programme and Project Management Framework and that they fit with Sustrans priorities and the external client objectives.

This is an extremely wide-ranging role, working with key stakeholders such as central and local government, Transport Scotland, Active Travel delivery partners and local communities.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Provide leadership, expertise, support and guidance to Heads of Programme, promoting greater collaboration and joined up thinking between programmes and functions.
  • Set the strategy for all programmes, ensuring alignment with organisational priorities.
  • Work across the organisation to ensure programmes of work perform to key performance indicators and demonstrate impact.
  • Provide strong financial management and budgetary control, ensuring appropriate and proportionate governance is applied across all programmes and projects.
  • Influence decision makers and partners in Active Travel through policy, consultation and thought leadership in the sector

The successful candidate will have a strong track record and experience of Programme and Portfolio Management, preferably within an infrastructure setting, and of leading and developing high performing teams in complex organisations. Experience of partnering with Central Governments, Local Authorities and a diverse range of stakeholders at a senior level will also be of interest.

It is thought that the individual will likely come with a strong understanding of the political landscape, grant management, operational delivery and the distribution of public funds, with a view to delivering successful infrastructure projects.

Interested candidates should send their CV, with current remuneration details, directly to Graham Burns at or call 07738 182813 for a confidential discussion.