Governance - Red Ladder Theatre Company

Red Ladder Theatre Company



The aim of this page is to act as a resource for anyone who is interested in hearing more about how Red Ladder Theatre Company is governed. Like many theatre companies, while the Senior Management Team of the company (comprised currently of an Artistic Director and Executive Producer) is responsible for the day-to-day management, the Board of Trustees is responsible for the strategic direction and policy of the company. If you have any questions about any of the information below, or would like to find out more about how you might like to join the board of trustees, please email . For more information on current board members, take a look at our Meet the Team pages.

Governance Structure

Red Ladder Theatre Company is a charitable company limited by guarantee, as defined by the Companies Act 2006, incorporated on 17 May 1976 and registered as a charity on 17 May 1994 number 1037653. It is governed by its Memorandum and Articles of Association, which were amended by special resolution dated 20 January 1994. Further non-constitutional parameters for the company are found in its endorsed policies in relation to equity, racial discrimination, equal opportunities and child protection. For more details on the company’s governing document and the principal objectives of the company to provide public benefit, as well as to access past financial and trustees’ reports, visit the company’s public webpage on the Charity Commission’s website here.

Members of the Board of Trustees are elected and co-opted under the terms of the company’s governing documents [e.g. one third of the directors/trustees retire annually by rotation and are eligible for re- election]. The Trustees meet at least four times a year, on a voluntary basis, and are joined by representatives from Red Ladder’s major funders: Arts Council England and Leeds City Council.

What’s involved?

Broadly speaking, the 6 main duties of a trustee for a charity are:

• Ensuring the charity is carrying out its purposes for public benefit
• Complying with the charity’s governing document and the law
• Acting in the charity’s best interests
• Ensuring the charity is accountable
• Managing the charity’s resources responsibly
• Acting with reasonable care and skill
[Source: The Essential Trustee, Charity Commission]

Red Ladder Theatre Company recognises that the breadth of perspectives and experiences that diversity at board level can offer leads to a more resilient, inclusive and relevant organisation. The make-up of the Board is therefore regularly reviewed and new appointments made after discussions regarding suitability for the specific need of the company. This might include those who have experience on boards, and those from other sectors outside of arts and culture, as well as those working in the sector itself.

Board members of RLTC do not get paid to be on the board. However the company will reimburse any reasonable expenses (e.g. travel/childcare) incurred by (e.g.) attending board meetings and Red Ladder is committed to covering costs incurred by any additional (e.g. access) needs of prospective and current board members, such as BSL signing services.

Our board meetings currently take place on video conferencing software, due to Covid-19; we are in discussions how we might continue once social distancing guidelines change. We aim to be as flexible as possible with meeting times and locations to suit individuals’ working patterns and commitments.

What’s the process for joining the Board?

Prospective Board Members are invited to have an informal chat to the Chair/Vice Chair of the board, to hear a little bit more about what is involved, discuss the current priorities of the board and the role in more detail. If both parties mutually agree and feel it is the right ‘fit’ for the organisation, the prospective Board Member is invited to the next Board Meeting as an observer. Again, after consideration from both parties, and the remaining board members, the new Board Member will be invited to attend the following Board Meeting, at which point they will be formally ‘voted’ onto the Board. They will then be issued with a full induction pack, which includes the following information:

• Companies House / Charity Commission recruitment paperwork
• Co-op bank declaration form 3b for new Board members (for protection against money laundering)
• Most recent Trustee’s report and annual accounts, and minutes from the last AGM
• Most recent business plan
• Minutes from the last 3 board meetings (incl. latest artistic, fundraising, marketing, press reports)
• A Declaration to sign to confirm understanding of the above information and of the expectations and duties of a Board Member and/or acceptance of the Trustee’s code of conduct

In addition to the information provided above, it is expected that additional resource and/or information will be needed to accommodate any additional access needs of prospective board members, to be mutually agreed between prospective board members and the existing board on a case-by-case basis. RLTC is also committed to supporting all board members to carry out their duties effectively, e.g. board members will be offered the opportunity to attend board training through a qualified body.

How can I find out more?

If you’d like to learn more about being on a board of trustees for a charity like Red Ladder Theatre Company, below is a list of a few helpful resources to get you started. Do get in touch if you have any further questions.

The Essential Trustee: 6 main duties – a graphic that gives more detail on the main duties of a charity trustee, provided by the Charity Commission.
The Essential Trustee (CC3) – a more detailed publication by the Charity Commission, with lots of helpful guidance on what is involved in joining a board, such as eligibility criteria and information on personal liability. http
Charity Governance Code – a more practical guide to help charities and trustees develop high standards of governance.
Doing Good Leeds – managed by Voluntary Action Leeds. They provide a wealth of resources on running organisations in the third sector in Leeds

If you have any questions about any of the information below, or would like to find out more about how you might like to join the board of trustees, please email . For more information on current board members, take a look at our Meet the Team pages.