The Stove is hiring a Projects Manager

The Stove is a dynamic and fast growing creative community organisation based in the heart of Dumfries town centre. We are the only arts–led Community Development Trust in the UK and we’re looking for a Projects Manager to oversee our Artworks and Activity programme. The Stove is a social enterprise with an annual turnover c.£500,000, the majority of this turnover is made up of individual projects which will come under the compass of the Projects Manager. Our turnover and activity has doubled over the last two years, so we are grateful to have been awarded a three year commitment from BIG Lottery to support this new role, one that is vital to maximising the benefit of our work for our community. We are on a fast growth curve and our new Projects Manager will join the core team of Orchestrator (Matt Baker) and Operations Manager (Ailsa Watson). Whilst there is clear operational structure within the organisation, everyone working at The Stove is also part of shaping and influencing the way we work together and there will be an expectation that the Projects Manager will be a strong contributor to this ethos.

The Projects Manager is clearly not an ‘artistic’ role, but it is part of our working ethos that everyone’s creativity is welcomed at The Stove and can-do/problem solving is the way that we all work together. As we are a small team, the Projects Manager role will extend from managing individual projects to the overall coordination of projects and programming within an overall creative plan and funding framework agreed by the Stove team.

This is a new role, we are not anticipating any applications from within the existing team and we are very much looking forward to welcoming a new Stovie.

Core tasks:

  • Project management of Artwork Projects and Activity programme. Includes line-managing Project Leads on projects such as Creative Futures:Lincluden and Lochside, Blueprint100
  • Oversight of 100 High Street as ‘Stove Venue’. Includes line-managing Stove in-house staff (events and tech)
  • Facilitate the Stove Café team of Café Supervisor, Operations Manager and Creative Lead

Salary: £26,000 PA pro rata (28 hours per week to end of March 2019, then 35 hours per week thereafter). This is an initial 17 month fixed term contract, with the opportunity for a further 14 month position at £28,000 PA pro rata.

Deadline for Applications: 5pm Monday 1st October
Interviews: in Dumfries on Tuesday 9th October

Please get in touch via to arrange a chat to discuss the opportunity.

Click links to download a Job Description and Application form


The Stove and Midsteeple Quarter at Edinburgh International Culture Summit

Summit team photo of all international Culture Ministers attending (43) and speakers at the conference…’Where’s the Stovie?’

The Edinburgh International Culture Summit happens every two years and is a part of the Edinburgh Festivals month in August. This years summit took place on 22-24th August and The Stove (inc Midsteeple Quarter) was delighted and honoured to be ask to address one of the break-out sessions of the conference.

The Summit takes place in the parliament at Holyrood and is chaired by the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament – Ken Mackintosh MSP. Our First Minister attended the first day and gave a speech of welcome to delegates where she highlighted the growing world status of Dundee as a cultural destination. The programme includes public sessions with keynote speakers – but also private break-out sessions where ministers are able to discuss new ideas without fear of being quoted in teh media. It was one of these sessions that featured The Stove’s Matt Baker, who gave a 10 minute presentation on how artists had been involved in community-led regeneration in Dumfries and then sat on a panel discussion with representatives of the Altofest from Naples and the Head of Arts and Culture from Google – the Panel was chaired by Martin Rose of the British Council.

One of the break-out panel discussions at the Summit – not the one involving The Stove, but same format

The overall theme of the Summit was ‘Culture – Connecting Peoples and Places’ – this was developed in three themes (one each for the three days) ‘Culture in a Networked World’, ‘Culture and Investment’ and ‘Culture and Wellbeing’. The Stove was part of the ‘Culture in Networked World’ theme and our Policy Round Table was ‘Re-imagining and Re-connecting to Culture’ – during which Matt had to tell the assembled Ministers that the word ‘culture’ is banned in The Stove – as it just serves to exclude so many of the people in our local community.


Gordon Robertson RIP

Gordon reading from his ‘Life of Robert Burns’ at The Stove in January 2016

Gordon Robertson 1936 – 2018

It was with great sadness that we learnt of the death of Gordon Robertson yesterday. Gordon had been a Stove member since the very early days and was a supporter, contributor and inspiration to The Stove.

Dumfries has lost a great intellect, artist and historical resource, Gordon was a linguist, Burnsian, painter, draughtsman, local historian and above all an enquiring mind and passionate Doonhamer. When he approached you never knew whether he was going to talk about Wagnerian Opera, his travels around Norway, his latest book or his battles with acrylic paint.

Gordon was a regular at Stove events, performing at many and a great patron of the Café – he was held in great affection and regard by all at The Stove. A wee light of civilisation and culture has gone out in the town – Gordon we salute you.


Art Commission Opportunity for Nithraid 2018

The Stove Network is seeking applications from artists/teams/musicians etc to create a soundwork as part of the Nithraid River Festival in Dumfries. Nithraid is an artist-led public event that is now in its 6th year this years date is August 11th 2018. The festival is sited around the area of the town centre where the River Nith passes through, for 2018 we are expanding the festival to include other nearby sites on the river. Rosefield Mills a Victorian textile mill that stopped working in the 1930s and its shell is an iconic Dumfries landmark. Over this past year Dumfries Historic Building Trust raised the money to purchase Rosefield (by public donation and a grant from the local council) and are working on ambitious plans to bring it back into use for the town.

We plan to use Nithraid as a creative platform to support community efforts around Rosefield Mills by staging a temporary public artwork at the Mill as part of this year’s festival. Because of the challenging site conditions of the building, and because the work will be experienced in daylight, we think that a soundwork may be the best approach – however, we remain open to suggestions for other approaches to the brief.

Nithraid 2016

Nithraid takes place between 12noon and 6pm – this commissioned work must be available to the general public for at least 30 minutes around 4pm, although it may be live for longer.The immediate area around the Mill is not suitable  for the public accessible and it should be assumed that the audience for the work is on the other side of the river in the Dock Park or that any work has multiple smaller sites around the area of the Mill. The Mill itself is NOT accessible to the public, the first floor is completely inaccessible to anyone and there is only limited accessiblity on the ground floor (due to the debris built up over the years) for people working on the project. There is access to 13 amp power in the Mill.

We are offering a fee of £1000 (inclusive of all materials, expenses and tech) for an artist/team to deliver the work. You will be joining a highly motivated and experienced production team and also support in-kind will be available from the group behind the Rosefield Mills project.

Rosefield Mills

If you are interested to discuss an idea with us before making an application, please get in touch by email:

More info about Nithraid – here and about Rosefield Mills – here

Please apply for the commission by sending the following:

  • Letter of Interest
  • Current CV
  • Up to 5 examples of relevant previous work (weblinks are fine)

Applications to be emailed to in PDF format and to be no greater than 10MB in total filesize.

Deadline for applications – 5pm Monday 4th June


Gamechanging OPPORTUNITY for Integrating Creative Practice in a Public Project

The Stove Network are seeking an exceptional creative practitioner to join the Midsteeple Quarter project team and lead on embedding creative process in a community empowerment project of national importance in Dumfries. This commission will suit a practitioner who is looking to push the boundaries of creative practice and is experienced in working on large public projects with multiple partners and public engagement/participation at the centre of the process.


The Midsteeple Quarter project is conceived as an innovative approach to a new future for the town centre of Dumfries. Through it, the community of Dumfries will take back control of their High Street and transform a central area through a mix of residential accommodation with a social/cultural/enterprise/education/wellbeing approach to making a town that is civic, compassionate and prosperous.

We are looking for someone to take the creative lead on the development of Midsteeple Quarter project and also deliver practical projects that drive forward the aims of the project, connecting creatively with project partners, the public of Dumfries and the national debate on Community Empowerment and Town Centre Regeneration. This commission will be based with The Stove Network, an award-winning arts collective that works as a community development trust for Dumfries.

To date the role of Creative Producer for the Midsteeple Quarter project has been delivered by Matt Baker (public artist and Orchestrator of The Stove Network). Matt will be the link person for the Creative Producer to the Stove Curatorial Team and support the Creative Producer to develop working relationships with stakeholders, partners and groups locally and nationally.

Whoever takes on the Creative Producer role will be someone who is able to roll up their sleeves and lead from the front in delivery – as well as taking a creative and strategic overview in developing the overall project as part of a multi-disciplinary and community-led project team.

The fee for the commission is as follows:

Year One: £12,750 (approximating to average of 2 days per week)

Year Two: £20,655 (approximating to average of 3 days per week)

An initial projects fund allocation of at least £14,000 is assigned to the role (to cover both years). It is expected that the Creative Producer will fundraise for additional projects/personnel required by the project path they decide to follow (in line with the project aims and in agreement with the wider Midsteeple Quarter team).

The Creative Producer role is commissioned on a freelance basis – the freelancer will be responsible for all taxes due on the commission and additional expenses from the commission fee. Download an expanded Job Description here.

To apply please send the following to

  • Letter of Interest
  • CV
  • Examples of relevant experience (web links/digital material of no more than 10MB)

Deadline for submissions – 5pm 15th October 2017. Interviews will take place on Monday 23rd October 2017 at The Stove, 100 High Street, Dumfries DG1 2BN.


With grateful thanks to The Holywood Trust who have funded this very important role for the future of our town centre.


Nithraid 2017 – Saturday 9th September. Programme for the Day

News Projects

Cantonese Summer School @ The Stove


For the last 7 Sundays The Stove has been the home of a Cantonese school that is passing on language and traditions to younger members of Dumfries’s Chinese community. The Project was run by Jason and Coco Ho…Jason takes up the story:


Well that was a fast 7 weeks with the Summer Cantonese Taster course come to an end. Throughout the Summer course, we have had a successful turnout of students and volunteers.
Credit is really due to the students showing commitment to wanting to learn Cantonese especially while they are on holiday!!! We have tried to keep the learning experience fun and students entertained by singing songs, making crafts and being creative.


I also need to thank all the teachers Myra Macbeth, Gavin Shek and Shalena Ho, who have dedicated their time and knowledge to providing the students with such an opportunity and hopefully skills that they can use in the future.

Another big thank you goes to The Stove for allowing us to use their facilities and giving us the opportunity to run the course.

The Stove's Matt Baker presents certificates at the end of the summer school
The Stove’s Matt Baker presents certificates at the end of the summer school

From a small idea over a cup of coffee 2 years ago, Mark Macdougall and I never really imagined how far and successful our pilot course would be. So we would just like to say a massive dòjeh to everyone that has been involved and believed in us 😁

A thank you card for The Stove (now on display in the Stove Cafe)
A thank you card for The Stove (now on display in the Stove Cafe)

Obviously we would like the Cantonese lessons to progress on in the future so we will keep you’s all posted soon on our plans of the project.

Anyone wishing to contact Jason can do so via Stove email or find him on Facebook (Jason Ho)


Marketing and Communications Opportunity in NW Dumfries

The Creative Futures project is working in the Lochside and Lincluden areas of Dumfries. Our aim is to bring local people together to develop their creative talents and to have a bigger voice within their local community


Do you belong to Lincluden and Lochside?…And are you:

  • Good at social media, full of ideas for how to communicate messages and market events and activities?
  • Looking for new challenges and keen to learn?
  • Keen to join a dynamic team of local creative people supporting each other to grow their own careers and work for the benefit of the wider community?

Creative Futures is offering an opportunity for someone to learn on the job (with professional support) to:

  • Run the Creative Futures Facebook page and social media
  • Assist in marketing events/activities/groups/opportunities
  • Write and send out press releases

This commission will take place in NW Dumfries, commencing mid June and completed by mid September 2017.

Fee – £1000 (equivalent to 1 day per week – but will require flexibility around the Creative Futures programme)

For more info contact

To apply please send:

  • Letter explaining why you are interested in the opportunity interest (to include your own ideas for developing the Creative Futures facebook page and ways we might engage interest of local people)
  • Details of your relevant experience
  • A link to a mock-up of a Facebook post (or blog post) about Creative Futures that you have created
  • Name and contact details for one referee

To by 5pm Monday 5th June


Aspiring Photographers in NW Dumfries

The Creative Futures project is working in the Lochside and Lincluden areas of Dumfries. Our aim is to bring local people together to develop their creative talents and to have a bigger voice within their local community

Creative Futures project ‘Burn Off’

Creative Futures is looking for a group of aspiring photographers,who belong to Lochside and Lincluden,to work with us to:

  • Develop their skills with professional support (in photography techniques and career development)
  • Undertake a personal documentary project in NW Dumfries

In taking this opportunity you will join a dynamic team of local creative people supporting each other to grow their own careers and work for the benefit of the wider community. The project will open up further opportunities to be involved in projects and join a bank of photographers who are documenting the Creative Futures project over the next 4 years.

Those selected for this first stage will receive a fee of £250 and will be expected to be involved from July – end September 2017. Commitments will vary through this time – there will not be set hours, but a mixture of work in your own time and some specific project days etc.

For more info and to apply please contact by 5pm Monday 5th June


Opportunity for Camera Operator/Film Editor

Bib Fortuna (played by Lochside born actor Michael Carter) with Luke Skywalker in 'Return of the Jedi'
Bib Fortuna (played by Lochside born actor Michael Carter) with Luke Skywalker in ‘Return of the Jedi’

The Creative Futures project is working in the Lochside and Lincluden areas of Dumfries. Our aim is to bring local people together to develop their creative talents and to have a bigger voice within their local community

Creative Futures is offering a commission for a Camera Operator/Film Editor to:

  • Work alongside a supported community team of researchers/writers/directors to film and edit a short documentary telling the personal histories of 4 local people.
  • Provide technical support and be part of a team of creative mentors for 3-4 aspiring lens-based artists who will be undertaking personal stills/film documentary projects in NW Dumfries.

This commission will take place in NW Dumfries (Lincluden and Lochside), commencing in end June and completed by mid September 2017.

Commission fee £1500 – to include all materials, expenses and travel.

For more info contact

To apply please send:

  • Letter of interest
  • CV
  • Links to up to 3 examples of relevant past work

To by 5pm Monday 5th June

Interviews will be held in Dumfries on Weds 14th June, by applying for this commission applicants are declaring themselves available for interview on this date.