Date posted: Wed 25 Nov 2020
Closing date: 9am, Tue 5 Jan 2021

We are looking for a highly skilled and experienced communications professional to lead and deliver communications to support the five-year Zero Carbon Cumbria project, funded by the National Lottery’s Climate Action Fund. This forms part of the most extensive programme of action on climate change ever seen in the county, led by the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership.

You’ll work at a highly strategic level, setting the communications strategy for the programme, advising and influencing people from the 70 diverse organisations that are part of the Partnership, and coordinating their communications activities. You’ll be equally skilled at a tactical level, producing communications collateral tailored to specific audiences and uses, as well as creative communications activities. You’ll draw on all your communications talents to engage Cumbrians in achieving the goal of a zero-carbon county, inspiring and motivating them to play their full part.

Application & Interview Process

Please apply by completing the application form below. We do not accept CVs. Guidance for submitting your application is included in the form.

Application Form – Communications Manager ZCCP

Closing date for return of applications is 9am on Tuesday 5 January 2021.

Candidates shortlisted for interview will be informed by 5pm on Wednesday 6 January 2021.

Interviews will be held via Zoom on Wednesday 13 January 2021.

Job description

If you prefer to download the job description and person specification, please use the link below:

CAfS Job Description – Communications Manager Zero Carbon Cumbria

EMPLOYER:  Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS).

LOCATION: Eden Rural Foyer, Old London Road, Penrith, CA11 8ET with travel to meetings and events in other Cumbria locations, when Covid-19 restrictions allow. Homeworking beyond Covid-19 is possible by agreement.

REPORTS TO: Project Manager Zero Carbon Cumbria.

HOURS: 22.5 hours a week (3 days) for first 4 years, reducing to 15 hours a week (2 days) for year 5, with potential to extend or increase hours subject to additional funding. Flexible working hours.

SALARY RANGE: £24,000 – £29,000 per annum full-time equivalent depending on skills and experience.

DURATION: Fixed-term contract starting as soon as possible, to end of December 2025.


Our vision is a zero-carbon Cumbria and we strive to bring about a better way of life, in balance with our environment.

Our mission is to empower and enable people, communities and businesses to live and work more sustainably by sharing our knowledge, practice, skills, networks and practical experience. We manage and deliver events, advice, training and practical projects across the county as well as providing specialist consultancy services to enable individuals, communities, businesses and local authorities to drive a shift towards a zero-carbon Cumbria.

CAfS is an award-winning charity with a team of seventeen highly skilled staff, working with a pool of specialist contractors and volunteers to deliver around 20 major, transformational low-carbon projects each year. CAfS is the leading organisation in Cumbria showcasing low-carbon living, energy-efficiency improvements, renewable technology and reduced use of fossil fuels, both on a domestic scale and in the community. Now in our 22nd year, CAfS is the first point of reference in the county for information on sustainability. CAfS is a dynamic, pro-active and responsive organisation, continually striving to deliver effective projects that make an impact and drive real change towards a low-carbon future. As such, we continually initiate, scrutinise, refine and launch new projects, accessing funding from a variety of sources or earning income from delivering specialist services.


Cumbria Action for Sustainability is co-chair of the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership (ZCCP), which involves nearly 70 organisations spanning the public, private and third sectors with the aim of delivering a coordinated partnership emission reduction programme to bring about a zero-carbon Cumbria.

CAfS has been awarded £2.5 million from the National Lottery’s Climate Action Fund, on behalf of the wider partnership, for the five-year Zero Carbon Cumbria project. Eleven of the organisations in the ZCCP will be involved in directly delivering elements of the Lottery-funded project and the whole partnership will be involved in wider decarbonisation programmes in order to reach the county’s zero-carbon goal. People who live, work and study in Cumbria will be able to take advantage of a whole range of opportunities to cut their own carbon footprint and that of their communities, playing their part in global actions to stop climate change.

The project, which sits within the wider Zero Carbon Cumbria programme, will tackle some of the main sources of carbon emissions in Cumbria, with a particular focus on food, energy generation and the goods we buy. The sub projects have been devised by a range of community organisations and chosen because of their wide benefits to local communities. More information about the project is available here:


The postholder will be responsible for developing, leading and delivering the communications strategy for the Zero Carbon Cumbria programme, and managing communications for the projects that CAfS will deliver as part of the programme. The postholder will work at a strategic level, advising and influencing senior decision-makers and representatives from the diverse organisations in the Partnership, to gain buy-in for and participation in effective communications approaches. The postholder will also work at a tactical level, planning and delivering communications activities and collateral, working closely with the Zero Carbon Cumbria staff team based across several organisations.


  • Develop and implement the communications strategy to support the delivery of the Zero Carbon Cumbria programme. Ensure this complements the CAfS organisational and communications strategies, factoring in the continued legacy of these communications beyond the five years of the programme.
  • Deliver communications that engage, inspire and motivate people and organisations from all walks of life in Cumbria to play their full part in achieving the vision of a zero-carbon county, using communications to drive action, participation and behaviour change.
  • Develop and manage a brand for Zero Carbon Cumbria.
  • Manage the programme communications budget.
  • Advise the Partnership (including delivery partners) on best practice across the full range of communications disciplines – from media relations and social media to advertising, branding and planning. Disseminate good practice by partners throughout the Partnership.
  • Develop and implement communications strategies to support the delivery of projects run by CAfS as part of the Zero Carbon Cumbria programme.
  • Support the 11 delivery partners who are undertaking projects as part of the Zero Carbon Cumbria programme to develop effective marketing plans that align with the communications strategies for the programme and their own organisation, ensuring compatibility and consistency throughout all programme communications.
  • Support community sustainability groups to develop communications skills.
  • Ensure that communications across the Zero Carbon Cumbria programme as a whole increase reach, broaden and deepen engagement, communicate learning and maximise impact, ensuring that project communications add up to more than the sum of their parts and helping to create a lasting legacy for the programme.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of effective internal communications mechanisms between partners, working alongside other members of the ZCC staff team.
  • Develop and maximise impact from offers of in-kind support from comms teams within partner organisations.
  • Establish strong working relationships with key media partners and influencers to secure positive coverage of the Partnership’s work towards a zero-carbon Cumbria.
  • Contribute to building effective working relationships within the new project staff team, who are based across several organisations, including the Partnership Manager, Zero Carbon Cumbria Project Manager , Local Authority Climate Officer and Carbon Monitoring Officer, in order to support delivery of the communications strategy.
  • Monitor and evaluate communications impacts and outcomes, reporting quarterly to the Zero Carbon Cumbria Project Manager, including periodic reviews of programme communications by delivery partners, and actively use learning outcomes to continuously improve communications.
  • Ensure all communications are compliant with relevant regulations such as GDPR and other data protection and security rules, media law and advertising regulations.


  • Develop a creative and engaging communications strategy to support the delivery of the five-year Zero Carbon Cumbria programme, in consultation with key partners.
  • Work in partnership with the CAfS Marketing & Communications Manager to ensure the Zero Carbon Cumbria communications strategy complements the CAfS communications strategy.
  • Carry out audience research as needed to inform the overall communications strategy for the programme as well as individual action plans within it.
  • Develop a Zero Carbon Cumbria brand, working with graphic designers and others as needed. Create brand guidelines for others to follow and a suite of associated resources such as logos and other text and graphical elements to be used by the partners, ensuring it is understood and consistently applied in programme communications by all partners.
  • Ensure that use of partner branding complies with their guidelines.
  • Ensure all communications associated with the aspects of the Zero Carbon Cumbria programme that are funded by the National Lottery Climate Action Fund are in line with the Lottery’s guidelines for acknowledgement of funding.
  • Agree and implement with partners an effective process for sign-off of communications approaches and materials.
  • Profile and manage the communications budgets across the five years of the programme, including communications budgets for individual projects by CAfS.
  • Create and implement communications strategies and action plans for individual projects by CAfS as part of the Zero Carbon Cumbria programme, liaising with project managers.
  • Build an effective communications network within the Partnership, identifying communications leads for each organisation, and expand communications capacity and resources by seeking support from comms teams within partner organisations.
  • Coordinate communications on the overall Zero Carbon Cumbria programme by Partnership members, including creating and providing messaging and collateral for their use when needed.
  • Develop a social media plan as part of the overall Zero Carbon Cumbria communications strategy and manage social media channels for the programme. Liaise with the CAfS Marketing & Communications Manager to ensure content on the ZCC and CAfS channels are complementary. Provide content to partners for use on their social media channels.
  • Create and manage new communications mechanisms and channels as needed.
  • Attend project meetings to provide communications advice, updates and guidance.
  • Write, produce, source and distribute content for media use and digital channels, including press releases, case studies and photography.
  • Manage requests for media interviews, coordinating with interviewees from partner organisations.
  • Respond to National Lottery media and communications requests relating to Climate Action Fund projects.
  • Develop and manage a website or other suitable online presence(s) for the Zero Carbon Cumbria programme and the wider work of the Partnership.
  • Produce and supply content tailored for the websites and newsletters of partners and other organisations.
  • Create communications collateral as needed for online, print and in-person use, liaising with designers or other contractors as required, such as written content, presentations, promotional flyers, ads, posters, fact sheets, case studies, display materials, graphics, video and audio resources. Ensure all communications materials meet relevant accessibility standards.
  • Arrange and manage advertising across online and print channels.
  • Assist in the organisation, administration, promotion and delivery of events and other engagement activities, both online and in person.
  • Establish mechanisms for regularly evaluating the success and impact of communications activities and the communications strategy overall, in conjunction with partners, using this information to improve communications in an ongoing way. Collate data and other evidence required to achieve this.
  • Keep up to date with developments in communication best practice, and in particular trends in climate change communication, sharing this learning and using it to continually improve communications by Partnership members.
  • Work with the whole staff team to carry out any other task or project required from time to time, as directed by the manager, CEO or trustees.
  • As an employee of CAfS, participate with colleagues in the wider operation of the organisation.

Person Specification

Essential skills and attributes:

  • Experience of developing and implementing effective communications strategies to support the delivery of multi-partner programmes, including budget management.
  • Proven ability to advise and influence senior staff in diverse organisations on communications approaches.
  • Experience of managing public relations, with the ability to plan for, create and react to media opportunities and attract free and influential coverage.
  • Proven ability to develop and implement a new brand.
  • Experience of social media management, including tools for monitoring channels, scheduling posts and analysing performance data.
  • Experience of managing online and print advertisement.
  • Strong analysis and evaluation skills including and experience of evaluating and monitoring communications, carrying out audience research and applying the lessons learnt.
  • Experience of managing website development, production of online content, monitoring and analytics. Working knowledge of laws and regulations relating to communications, including GDPR, data protection/security, advertising and media law.
  • Experience of producing a wide range of communications collateral for diverse uses and audiences, with a proven ability to develop effective content tailored to specific audiences and communicate complex technical information in a clear, engaging way.
  • High standard of written and verbal communication, grammar, spelling, proofreading and attention to detail.
  • Basic knowledge of sustainability issues and an interest in the objectives that CAfS seeks to deliver.
  • Ability to work independently and manage delivery of own workload, working cooperatively as part of a remote team.

Desirable criteria

The following attributes are desirable but not essential:

  • Experience of working on climate change or carbon reduction communications.
  • Experience of developing and implementing behaviour change communications strategies.
  • Experience of sharing learning and building communications skills in others.
  • Experience of running online and in-person events and activities, including the use of video conferencing/meeting/webinar tools such as Zoom.
  • Experience of using WordPress and the Microsoft Office 365 environment, including Outlook, Word, Excel, Teams and Sharepoint.
  • Experience of working with a diverse range of organisations – from community and youth groups to local authorities.
  • Knowledge of Cumbrian / North of England geography.
  • Experience of basic video editing.
  • An active network of Cumbria or national media contacts.

If you would like more information about the role, please email: [email protected]