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These notes provide information for potential applicants interested in serving as a member on the board of Dunbar Harbour Trust. The notes include a short introduction to the work of the Trust, an explanation of the role of board members and the qualities sought in applicants. Paragraph 6 explains how to apply.

Unsuccessful applicants may also be considered for relevant appointments in subsequent years.


  1.  Introduction

It is an important objective of Dunbar Harbour Trust to appoint candidates representing a wide range of appropriate experience to serve on the board. Therefore, you should not rule yourself out from applying because you imagine that "you are not the kind of person" who is appointed to such things. On the other hand, it is also an important objective to appoint competent individuals suited to what are demanding positions. Therefore, you should only apply if you feel you have the qualities, skills and competencies sought in our advertisement (a copy of which is attached) at a level sufficient to take part in the management of this harbour. A process, which is open, is also competitive: it is not possible to recommend for appointment everyone who possesses the qualities described. Therefore, if you apply, it is important that your application brings out clearly with concrete examples the level and depth of your achievement and experience as applicable to the qualities we are seeking in a new board member. Some people may find it helpful to ask a friend to read through their application and comment before submitting it.


  1.  How to use these notes

In paragraph 5 you will find an introduction to what qualities are sought in our board members. Do you feel you can make a valuable contribution to this work? If so turn to the notes attached which give information about our harbour and its operations. Please do not apply unless you have adequate time to give to the board.

To apply, follow carefully the directions in paragraph 6 of these notes. Because of the high degree of interest in appointments of this kind, unless your application closely follows these directions (and is received at the correct address by the closing date) it will not be possible for it to be considered.


  1.  About the appointment

As well as considering those who respond to the present advertisement, the board may also consider names from other sources. Experience, interests, location, amount of time available and other relevant information are important so that the best candidate can be selected.

The appointment is voluntary with no remuneration. The time spent on Trust business is left up to the individual, but it is expected that sufficient time can be given to carry out the tasks set and agreed and to keep to appropriate timescales. Expenses such as telephone, postage and travelling on Trust business can be reimbursed. 

Appointments offer opportunities to individuals who wish to contribute to the community and to the running and development of the harbour and its business. The opportunity may be to help run the harbour more effectively, to offer advice on a challenging and complex issue, broaden the board's approach by bringing a fresh outlook or new areas of expertise to discussions or to ‘project manage’ some of the tasks being undertaken by the Trust.


  1.  An overview of  Dunbar Harbour Trust

Dunbar Harbour Trust (DHT) was formed to take on the running of the Dunbar harbours and to promote their development for the benefit of commercial and leisure users and as an asset for the local community. The area covered includes the Victoria and Cromwell harbours, the Broadhaven between the harbours, the castle at the west end of the Victoria harbour and all the quaysides, roads and jetties within a set boundary.

Dunbar harbour consists of a collection of some of the most historic sites in Scotland, two working harbours and a historic fisherman’s store. The users of the harbour range from commercial shell fishermen and day angling craft, leisure yachts, motor boats and day vessels, divers and day launch fishermen as well as many visitors both local and passing. 

DHT has twelve directors and two employees, the Harbour Master and his assistant. Full board meetings take place every month, usually in the Meeting room of McArthur’s store. There is also a Harbour Management Committee that looks after the immediate running of the harbour. Many ‘projects’ are currently underway with a Trust Director nominated as the project manager. Recruitment and involvement in a project is purely voluntary on an interest and time available basis. Some of the projects currently active are: -


Development of storage facilities under the castle

Refurbishment of the Harbour Bridge

Provision of toilet facilities at the harbour

Event management at Dunbar Battery

These are only a few of the projects being worked on. More are being discussed and some are awaiting financial resources to become available.


  1.  Qualities sought in potential board members

Before an individual is appointed to the Trust, here are some of the things which need to be considered. (Knowledge or understanding of some of these items is not required before appointment):

  • You must broadly agree with the overall mission of the Trust but be prepared to question hard the means of getting there; however, you should not ignore or unreasonably oppose the views of the majority of board members.

  • You may well bring specialist knowledge (of marketing or finance, for example, or as a harbour user or resident) but you must not represent functional or sectional interests;

  • You must understand the constraints of the Trust’s relationship with local and national Government and of working within the guide to good governance for trust ports;

  • You must understand the organisation of the harbour but not become too identified with it; you should not represent specific interests when acting as a board member.

  • You must understand the legislative and statutory framework within which the harbour operates and the duties and obligations that this places on the board;

  • You must have a commitment to getting the best value for money, taking into account social objectives, for the Trust’s end customers;

  • You must be prepared to spend time to do the job properly.


Here are some of the qualities that are being looked for in the successful applicant. Your letter should contain enough detail, by way of examples, to show that you possess these qualities:

  • You are capable of achieving results in demanding situations. These can be in a career or in unpaid (such as voluntary) work or in your personal life.

  • You have the ability to contribute effectively in group discussions involving a wide range of people, including specialists and professionals. You are able to forge strong working relationships with other members of the board and harbour staff. As a team player you are able to share knowledge and views with fellow board members while abiding by the view of the majority.

  • You are capable of overcoming difficult circumstances to progress tasks or projects through to a satisfactory conclusion.

  • Your application should make clear the level and depth of your experience which demonstrates your knowledge and interests relevant to this post.


  1.  How to apply

Your application needs to comprise the following:

  • A letter not exceeding two pages answering the four requests listed below

  • The names, addresses and brief details of two referees who know you well but are not personally connected to you and can assess your potential to contribute to the board.

Please type your letter or submit it in very legible handwriting in dark ink.

Your letter will form the basis for discussion during the interview.

  1. What are your reasons for wanting to become a director of the Trust? 

  1. What will you be able to contribute to the work of the Trust?

  1. In conjunction with the previous question describe your skills and/or knowledge that you can contribute that will be of value to the Trust. Summarise any specialist or management experience or local knowledge which you think particularly relevant to the work of the Trust.

  1. Describe something you have been closely involved with in the past that will support your application (this could be work related or hobby/interest or personal).


Address your application to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or by post to:

Dunbar Harbour Trust

McArthur’s Store

Victoria Street

Dunbar EH42 1 HB

NB. The content of unsuccessful applications will remain confidential.

The closing date for applications is 12th March 2021

Applicants will be interviewed in March by a representative of East Lothian Council, by the Chairman of Dunbar Harbour Trust and by a local member of the community.DATA PROTECTION ACT 1984


Individual records shall be kept for a maximum of three years, in line with the maximum length of the appointment cycle. Information held by the Trust about individuals in connection with appointments to the Trust shall be fully in compliance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1984, that is to say: -

  • Personal data shall be held only for the purposes specified in this guidance, and will be relevant 

  • Data shall not be used or disclosed in any manner incompatible with the appointments process 

  • All data shall be accurate and kept up to date 

  • Applicants shall be entitled, at reasonable intervals and without undue delay, to have access to data held and to have data corrected or erased where appropriate.

  • Appropriate security measures shall be taken to protect personal data against unauthorised access, alteration or deliberate or accidental loss or destruction.