Boost Fund Relationship Manager

The Firstport Group, in partnership with PNE (Project North East), have been awarded funding to kick start and accelerate social enterprise activity across Sunderland and South Tyneside.

Job title:                     Relationship Manager
Contract:                    Fixed term to 31 March 2025
Reporting to:            Head of Business Development and Innovation
Salary:                       £33,000 pro rata + 5% pension
Hours:                         35 hours per week
Based:                         Home-based with occasional travel to Sunderland and South Tyneside. Access to office in Edinburgh.
Start date:                  ASAP

Deadline: 31st May 2023
Interviews: Online

To apply for this vacancy please complete the application form at the bottom of this page or click this link to open the application form in a new window.

About the Firstport Group

The Firstport Group is Scotland’s leading agency supporting social entrepreneurs, social enterprises, and purpose-led businesses. Encompassing Firstport for Social Entrepreneurs, FirstImpact and Impact Investment Partnership Scotland, the Group has over 15 years of experience supporting thousands of entrepreneurs to develop, start, and grow their businesses. While the Group’s footprint is primarily in Scotland, from 2023, it has expanded its reach to the North East of England.

Firstport is Scotland’s development agency for start-up social enterprise. We support early-stage social enterprises and highly motivated people to test, refine and grow their ideas into viable social businesses. Our package of support includes seed funds, business advice, training, practical tools, and connections to help social entrepreneurs make their ideas a reality.

FirstImpact works with the wider business as a force for good movement across all sectors who want to structure and grow their businesses in a way that is profitable, mission-led, and impact-focused.

Impact Investment Partnership Scotland (IIPS) focuses on providing flexible social investment for ambitious social enterprises. IIPS currently manages the Catalyst Fund, a £15m fund from the Scottish Government that invests in social enterprises through an innovative revenue-based loan programme.

In 2019 we launched our strategy, Increasing Social Impact Through Entrepreneurship, with a focus on increasing our capacity to support the growing interest in social entrepreneurship and playing a more purposeful role in shaping the wellbeing economy in Scotland. While we continue to pursue the principles outlined in the strategy, we are doing so with a renewed and refreshed focus, considering the context in which we now operate, and the need to respond to a different future.

We are committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion, and we aim to recruit and retain the best candidates from the widest pool of talent, one which reflects the communities we serve.

We strive to create an environment where everyone can be themselves and do their best work. We offer:

  • A generous holiday package with 33 days annual leave entitlement and office closure the days between Christmas and New Year
  • Pension scheme
  • Flexible working
  • An Employee Assistance Programme, which provides access to a range of support relating to work/life balance, physical, emotional, and mental health
  • Bike-to-work scheme

Find out more about us on our website – www.firstport.org.uk

Job purpose:

The Firstport Group, in partnership with PNE (Project North East), have been awarded funding to kick start and accelerate social enterprise activity across Sunderland and South Tyneside. This is part of a new programme which is designed to encourage social enterprise growth in deprived areas across England.

The Relationship Manager will have sole responsibility for managing Firstport’s relationships with applicants and awardees as part of the programme.  The value of the fund to be managed is approximately £550,000, with grants ranging from £1k-£10k.

With a primary focus on application assessment, award management and monitoring, you will be in charge of building relationships with successful applicants and supporting them to develop their proposals into sustainable social enterprises.

Liaising with relevant stakeholders, particularly PNE’s team of Business Advisors and other local and national strategic partners, you will problem-solve to ensure the health of the award applicant and awardee caseload, escalating to the Head of Business Development and Innovation as needed.

You will also contribute to continuous improvement of the programme, identifying and implementing continual improvements as part of an agile way of working.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Deliver operations relating to awards and client relationship management
  • Keep records and analyse output and outcome data which assist the evaluation of effectiveness of the programme’s award management activity, in line with requirements set out by external evaluators commissioned by the DCMS.
  • Maintain effective records of activity and expenditure in line with funder requirements
  • Contribute to the preparation of reports for Senior Management, Board and DCMS.
  • Support the development of relations with partners, including PNE, other funders and support agencies, local government, third sector, and others.
  • Identify opportunities for continuous improvement, proactively capturing and responding to the needs of clients
  • Refer, connect, and signpost clients to other support where appropriate
  • Engage in relevant internal and external forums for networking, outreach and sharing of best practice

To apply for this vacancy please complete the application form at the bottom of this page or click this link to open the application form in a new window.

Person Specification

We are looking for talented people from a wide range of backgrounds and communities. Whether through lived or gained experience, or both, you will understand and share a passion for what we do.


  • Grant assessment, award, and management experience
  • Experience of managing programme budgets
  • Coaching skills, with ability to motivate clients and help them move forward
  • Ability to develop and maintain good working relationships with a range of stakeholders, partners, clients, and communities
  • High level communication skills, including experience of communicating effectively across cultures and with diverse audiences, both verbally and in writing
  • Solid knowledge of and experience in monitoring and evaluation
  • Proactive and motivated, able to work autonomously
  • Digitally confident, open to using a range of tools (We use MS Office suite, Google suite, Slack, Trello and Mural/Miro).


  • Experience of using Salesforce or other CRM
  • An understanding and/or interest in digital ways of working and agile principles
  • Experience in strengthening organisational processes and systems through continuous improvement
  • Understanding of/and or networks within Sunderland and South Tyneside communities
  • Understanding of the issues and challenges in setting up a new enterprise and particularly a social enterprise