Operations Manager

  • Title: Operations Manager
  • Reports to: Chief Executive Officer
  • Term: Permanent post 6-month probation
  • Salary range: £55,000 to £60,000
  • Working arrangement: Office based hot–desk/touch down worker

Primary purpose of the role

The Operations Manager is accountable to the CEO for the operational management of the Plymouth and South Devon (PASD) Freeport. 

The Operations Manager will be responsible for the Critical Success Factors set out in the Freeport Full Business Case; e.g. the strategic fit with wider policy objectives, value for money, capacity and capability, achievability and risk profile, affordability and cost and alignment with net zero; and, for all security and compliance issues, including; maintenance of the risk registers, monitoring, evaluation and reporting requirements, and those relating to carbon net zero, and customs site operations. 

The Operations Manager will support the Business Growth and Investment Director to deliver marketing and investment functions by contributing to the development of the Freeport prospectus and may deputise for the CEO or Business Growth and Investment Director as may be required.

    Key accountabilities and key measures


    Role Outcomes Role Measures
    • Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Monitoring and Evaluation Criteria are met and the PASD Freeport Board receive robust, relevant and timely management information. 
    • Compliance with HMRC designation order criteria is maintained and record keeping and audit requirements are met. 
    • The PASD Freeport property offer is well matched to demand from prospective tenants who are able to meet Freeport gateway criteria. 
    • Ports serving the Freeport are optimised so that the volume and type of freight they can handle is matched to business need. 
    • The Freeport Skills Board is supported to ensure that adequate provision is made to ensure a local supply of appropriately qualified Labour to meet Freeport demand.
    • Service Level Agreements are developed, agreed and monitored with Local Authority and Private Sector Partners as will be required to manage the delivery of outsourced services such as: 

    – The PASD Freeport Skills Programme 

    – The LA inward investment teams and 

    – PASD Freeport Customs Operators

    – Legal Services

    • All PASD Freeport contracts are procured within an appropriate framework and robust contract management arrangements are in place.
    • The Freeport Security and Compliance Sub Committee provides effective oversight of all Freeport related risks including security and illicit activity.
    • The Freeport Security and Compliance Sub Committee provides effective oversight to ensure legal and contractual compliance including:

    – Carbon Net Zero targets
    – Risk Transfer
    – Subsidy Control
    – Equalities
    – Health and Safety

    • DLUHC monitoring reports are completed, signed off by the Board of Directors and submitted within the timescales set out in the Memorandum of Understanding.
    • All Freeport Customs Sites are managed by an HMRC Approved Customs Site Operator and maintained in accordance with HMRC criteria. 
    • Eligible Freeport businesses are fully claiming business rates relief, stamp duty land tax relief and/or claiming enhanced structures and buildings allowance. 
    • The volume of Freeport container traffic, dry and liquid bulk and Ro-ro freight transiting local ports increases over time. 
    • The Freeport skills offer delivers against PASD Freeport regeneration criteria and the Freeport Skills Plan.
    • Service Level Agreements are completed and signed off by relevant stakeholders within required timelines and regular liaison is established with named individuals operating within an agreed role profile to ensure performance level achieved. 
    • PASD Freeport risk registers, including the security and illicit activity risk register are maintained and strategic risks which cannot be fully mitigated are reported by exception to the Freeport Delivery Board.
    • Procurement activity is compliant with Public Contract Regulations 2015 and contract performance is evaluated and reported to the Board by exception.


    Key activities

    • Be jointly accountable to the CEO with the Business Growth and Investment Director and Programme Manager for the development of the Freeport Annual Delivery Plan in consultation with partners. 
    • Lead the development and implementation of management information systems to monitor Freeport performance and support the submission of required monitoring information to government departments and other funding bodies. 
    • Facilitate the Freeport Security and Compliance Sub – Committee to maintain operational oversight of the Freeport Risk Register(s), the Annual Delivery Plan and Customs Site Operations and to ensure that compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements such as company law, subsidy control, equality and health and safety legislation is maintained. 
    • Liaise and negotiate with government departments including the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, HMRC and the Department for Transport as may be required around the delivery of Freeport objectives.
    • Be responsible for ensuring that the Freeport Skills Strategy is developed and implemented through the Skills Board and that all relevant partners are consulted and informed to maintain strategic alignment with wider regeneration activity.
    • Be accountable to the CEO and Freeport Board for the operation of Customs sites with HMRC criteria, including resolving any breaches in protocol and arranging the required annual security audit. 
    • Contribute a skills and carbon net zero offer to the development of the Freeport prospectus that is attractive and flexible enough to meet the disparate needs of prospective Freeport tenants while ensuring that gateway criteria are embedded. 
    • Commission an external evaluation partner to develop a bespoke monitoring and evaluation framework for the Freeport that reflects both the national requirements and local evaluation aspirations.
    • Procure an HMRC authorised Customs Site Operator(s) and negotiate and agree a Service Level Agreement for the long term management of Freeport Customs Sites. 
    • Procure, in partnership with government, an appropriate audit service provider that will conduct an independent annual review of security and compliance functions.
    • Lead and direct joint teams to ensure that: –
    • Capacity to deliver the Freeport Skills Strategy is secured through a dedicated and named resource and plans for a marine skills academy are progressed subject to securing resources.
    • Capacity to develop and deliver a Freeport Carbon Net Zero plan that ensures the Freeport adheres to the OECD Code of Conduct for Clean Free Trade Zones is secured.   
    • An Environmental Impact Assessment is conducted to identify specific environmental risks in relation to air and water quality, the management of waste and the treatment and handling of chemicals, as well as impacts on protected sites and species.  
    • Work closely with the Business Growth and Investment Director on workforce and skill requirement analysis and provide regular updates on skill provisioning.  
    • Be responsible for working with landowners and their agents to ensure the Freeport property offer is consistent with gateway criteria and that the needs of prospective Freeport tenants can be met.
    • Be responsible for operational negotiation with Port Operators to ensure that the needs of prospective Freeport tenants can be met and liaise with relevant partners to progress complementary investments pipeline proposals to support port optimisation. 
    • Act as the nominated officer for the Freeport in relation to Money Laundering regulations and work with Trading Standards and the Freeport Audit Service Provider to ensure the Freeport upholds relevant anti – money laundering protocols.
    • Be responsible for the development and agreement of relevant company policies (Procurement, HR, Equality, Recruitment, Finance etc) with the CEO and Board of Directors as required.
    • Be responsible for the management of financial and human resources associated with the functions set out in the Freeport Company Functional Structure.  
    • Manage assigned budget within limits and provide regular updates to CEO or any future finance manager who is accountable for overall Company budget.    
    • Work closely with Public Funds Accountable Body and Rateable Authorities to deliver required outputs covered in separate Service Level Agreement and relating to successful delivery of Freeport objectives that fall within the remit of this role.
    • Carry out other duties appropriate to the grade of the post.


    Person Specification


    Requirements Essential Desirable
    • Educated to degree standard or a relevant professional qualification in programme management.
    • Knowledge of funding regimes including bidding, monitoring and contracting of external funding sources.
    • Knowledge of the Freeport programme and related government growth policies such as Levelling Up and UKSPF.
    • Knowledge of local government processes relating to democracy, finance, legal and procurement.
    • Knowledge of commercial property development particularly the negotiation of leases and rents.
    • Knowledge of State Subsidy legislation.
    • Experience of people management, managing multiple suppliers and working in a complex environment to include public and private sector settings.
    • Experience of negotiating with senior representatives in the private, public, and social sectors.
    • Experience of providing leadership, development of relationships innovative thinking, negotiation, conflict resolution and motivation
    • Experience in presenting reports to Committees, Boards or representing the organisation at public meetings.
    • Experience of writing, developing and procuring strategies in a partnership environment.
    • Demonstrable experience of writing detailed reports and in making recommendations and presentations to senior management.
    • Experience in government relations, lobbying and communicating with a wide range of stakeholders
    • Responsibility for and experience in staff management and motivation.
    • Working within large, complex organisations.
    • Experience of working with politicians.
    • Working within the UK Freeport development programme.
    • Experience in working in the field of economic development
    • Leadership and collaborative skills.
    • Ability to maintain relationships in a complex partnership setting.
    • Excellent verbal communication skills.
    • Strong negotiating skills.
    The post holder will be expected at all times to act in accordance with the Nolan principles and to work within the policies and procedures set out in the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport Employee Handbook and as may be adopted by the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport Board.

    How to Apply

    To apply for this role please send a CV and covering letter to recruitment@pasdfreeport.com by Friday 16th December at 1200. 

    For an informal discussion about this role please email either Richard May richard.may@pasdfreeport.com or David Draffan david.draffan@plymouth.gov.uk

    The following timetable sets out the key dates in the recruitment process (subject to change):

    Date Activity
    Closing Date Friday 16th December 2022 at 1200 noon
    Shortlisting Friday 27th January 2023
    First Interviews Monday 13th February 2023