First Thermal

General Manager Vacancy

Job Title / Position: General Manager, First Thermal Ltd. approx. 27-month contract until end December 2023, with opportunity for extension. Probationary period 3 months.

Salary: £40,000 Contract approx. 27 months until end December 2023 with opportunity for extension.

Reporting to: MD/CEO

Based: Bristol

If you would like a rewarding and stimulating job doing something you can be proud of, this is a unique opportunity to develop First Thermal Ltd. (FTL) a new social enterprise company, set up to be a social franchisor. FTL has been formed to build franchises that replicate the Bristol-based multiple-award-winning C.H.E.E.S.E. Project CIC, (TCP) which delivers thermal imaging Energy Tracing® surveys to reduce energy loss from homes - thus making warmer homes and a cooler planet. You will be joining a team of directors who have successfully developed the project over five years.

This exciting and important environmental and social development is possible thanks to a grant from Energy for Tomorrow - a Centrica Initiative.

Your Role - developing the Franchise

To support the board of directors to develop and adapt the business model of TCP to become the profitable exemplar for the new FTL Franchise business. Overseeing the implementation of a franchise manual, bespoke IT booking system, and unique equipment and training to create a streamlined efficient service, allowing franchisees to generate sustainable trading income.

In the first 12-15 months you will oversee the recruitment of franchise pilots to test and adapt the business plan and franchise model, working with pilots to achieve a trading surplus and the highest possible quality franchise and customer experience, to enable expansion of the network nationwide from 2023. You will progressively take over the management from the MD/CEO, and on achieving financial stability by December 2023, there is an opportunity to continue and grow with the company.

If you do not already have experience of managing franchises, it will be necessary to qualify in the British Franchise Association's Qualified Franchise Professional course (which will be funded by FTL - about 8 days.)

Building a team

Your team includes expert consultancy support (in place) a 0.6FTE Franchise Development and Marketing Manager- to be recruited, and an Office Assistant/PA, shared with the MD/CEO. (On account of his age, the MD/CEO wishes to gradually withdraw to an Executive Chairman role.) TCP will recruit its own Survey Manager, developing to Manager of the franchise, and an expanding team of part-time Energy Tracers® trained by FTL.


Sales and Customer Service

Strategic partnerships and development

Project Management

Line Management


The C.H.E.E.S.E. Project CIC (Cold Homes Energy Efficiency Survey Experts)

To work with the MD/CEO and TCP Survey Manager, becoming line manager, until the Survey Manager (to be recruited in September) takes over as Franchise Manager for TCP.


Requirements Essential Desirable
Educational and professional qualifications

Education to degree level or equivalent, or equivalent experience in relevant subjects or sectors.

A level Maths.

Advanced professional qualification in Business Administration e.g. MBA.

Five years' experience of managing project delivery, including planning, team management, task allocation and budgeting within a profitable trading business.

Proven experience in developing and delivering a strategy to grow profitability.

Recent and demonstrable experience of managing a small expert team in a demanding environment.

Experience of outcomes-based project monitoring and evaluation.

Experience of the social and not-for-profit business sector.

Experience of working within the Community Energy, Co-operative and/or Social Enterprise sectors.

Experience of leading projects in cross-sectoral partnership with other organizations including public sector.

Bid writing to secure grant funding and other investment from Green/Social Finance.

Worked experience with architecture and retrofit.

An understanding of the challenges.

Skills and abilities

Proven leadership, team working and project management skills.

Self-motivation and ability to work using own initiative.

Empathetic and able to understand and manage client needs.

Excellent verbal, numerical and written communication skills with ability to work with a range of stakeholders.

Highly organized at managing time and workload, managing conflicting priorities and deadlines.

Excellent report writing and analytical skills. Including experience of writing effective non-technical summaries of complex issues.

Technical skills Knowledge and experience of using client focused databases.

Experience of energy modelling packages such as RdSAP.

Experience with Xero accounting.


A good understanding of social enterprise.

An interest in climate change and the built environment.

Commitment to FTL's social and environmental aims.

Skilled in use of MS Office applications including Word, Excel; use of Zoom, email, social media.

Ability to work partly from home and partly in a shared office 'hub' in central Bristol.

High-speed WiFi connection from home.

Full, clean driving license.

Legal right to work

Before applying for this post using the form linked below, you must have a legal right to work in the UK.

We welcome applications from the BAME, LGBT, minority and disabled communities. Appointment will always, however, be made on merit and judged against the job description and person specification.

Please note we do not accept CVs or Cover Letters. (Strictly No Agencies).