Northern Roots is recruiting

Are you interested in being a paid advocate for your local community? Would you like to get involved in creating activities and events for your community at Northern Roots? Could you encourage your friends, family and community networks to discover and enjoy the heritage and nature on their doorstep at Northern Roots? If so, a paid Community Champion role will put you in the driver’s seat and enable you and your community to shape the direction of the Northern Roots project.

We’re also recruiting for an enthusiastic and dynamic Project Manager to work with and support our Community Champions. If you’ve got experience of delivering community engagement, and excellent project and budget management skills, we’d love to hear from you. See details below.



What is Northern Roots?

The Northern Roots charity is transforming 160 acres of urban greenspace, fifteen minutes on foot from Oldham town centre, into the UK’s largest urban farm and eco-park – a destination for learning, leisure, nature and growing.

The site stretches from Alexandra Park in the north, past Park Bridge Heritage Centre, to Bankfield Clough in the south, looking out on to the foothills of the Peak District. It is bordered by the communities of Glodwick, Fitton Hill, Hathershaw, Alt, Bardsley and Park Bridge.

The charity aims to benefit the environment, and to improve the health, wellbeing and livelihoods of local communities. Following five years of feasibility and development work, the first phase of construction is about to begin with the building of the Visitor Centre in early 2024.


Beautiful Oldham – why not? project

“The Beautiful Oldham Society should encourage the cultivation of shrubs, flowers in the spaces adjoining public buildings, schools, mills, houses, to cultivate the love of nature and gardening in school children, to utilise waste and open areas for tree planting, gardening, to encourage and provide facilities for the cultivation of plants and flowers in window pots and boxes, to provide groups of cottages with common gardens.” Mary Higgs, Beautiful Oldham Society, 1902


Earlier this year Northern Roots received funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to support the delivery of a heritage and communities project entitled ‘Beautiful Oldham – Why Not?’  The project is inspired by Oldham’s Mary Higgs, who wrote to the Oldham Chronicle in 1901 asking: ‘Beautiful Oldham – why not?’

By the mid 19th century, Oldham was the epicentre of the global cotton spinning industry, its skyline dominated by the mills and chimneys of the Industrial Revolution. Mary Higgs, one of the first women to study Natural Sciences at Girton College, Cambridge, was a staunch advocate for women’s rights and social change in Oldham, and a pioneering conservationist. Mary founded the Beautiful Oldham Society in 1902 with a vision to create a greener, healthier Oldham, in which residents were empowered to make positive change.

Using the story of Mary Higgs and the Beautiful Oldham Society as an inspiration, the “Beautiful Oldham – Why Not?” project is designed to empower communities living around the Northern Roots site, to actively shape – and benefit from – the Northern Roots project.

Community Champion roles at Northern Roots

Northern Roots is recruiting for five Youth Champions and ten Local Community Champions. These positions are paid, part-time, flexible roles. You don’t need to have specific educational qualifications or experience to apply. You just need enthusiasm for the vision of Northern Roots, creativity, commitment, strong community networks and the ability to collaborate with people from diverse backgrounds.

With our support, you will be involved in coming up with ideas for activities and events on the Northern Roots site, engaging and involving your wider community, helping to produce and deliver activities and events, and contributing to other work in development at Northern Roots such as branding and business modelling.


Find out more and apply

Please read the Job Descriptions below to see which is suitable for you and apply for the role using the relevant Expression of Interest form.

To apply for the Local Community Champion role you’ll need to be resident in Fitton Hill, Glodwick, Alt, Park Bridge, Bardsley or Hathershaw. If you’re unsure as to whether you qualify to apply, please get in touch with us at and we will clarify.

To apply for the Youth Champion role, you need to be resident in Oldham and aged between 18 and 24.

Please send your completed Expression of Interest form and Equal Opportunities form to


Local Community Champion (Northern Roots) Job Description July 23

Local Community Champion EOI Form JULY 2023

Youth Champion (Northern Roots) Job Description July 23

Youth Champion EOI Form JULY 2023



Contract: Freelance 8-month, part-time contract.

Hourly rate: £10.50 per hour.

Hours: Hours per week will vary but will not exceed 6 hours in any one week.

Application deadline: Monday 28th August 2023.

Interview: Week beginning Monday 11th 2023.

Start date: Monday 2nd October 2023.

End date: May 2024.


Project Manager, Northern Roots

This role provides an excellent opportunity for an enthusiastic, dynamic individual to support local residents and the young people of Oldham to contribute to the conservation, restoration and enhancement of this urban green corridor and the development of the Northern Roots charity.

The successful candidate will join a friendly, supportive and dedicated team, working to the Communications, Arts and Engagement Manager. The role will be very visible, requiring you to meet members of the public on a daily basis, lead and develop engagement opportunities, and help organise, deliver and evaluate a range of community projects and activities.

We are looking for an individual with strong community development and engagement experience, coupled with excellent project and budget management expertise. You will work primarily on a Heritage Lottery funded project we are delivering called ‘Beautiful Oldham – Why Not?’, as well as supporting other projects within the wider Northern Root’s portfolio where needed.


Find out more and apply

Please read the Job Description and Person Specification below. Send your completed Equal Opportunities form, CV and a short cover letter (no more than two sides of A4) telling us why you think you’re suitable for this role, to

Please put PROJECT MANAGER and your name in the subject line of your email. The deadline for applications is 10am, Monday 4th September.


Job Title: Project Manager, Northern Roots

Salary: £30,000 to £32,000, dependent on experience.

Contract: Fixed term, September 2023 to June 2024 (ten months), 37.5 hours/week.

Organisation: The employing organisation is the Northern Roots charity, registered charity number 1196906.

Based at: On site at Northern Roots, Oldham, and within the neighbouring communities.


Project Manager Northern Roots JOB DESCRIPTION August 23

Project Manager Northern Roots PERSON SPECIFICATION August 23


The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.  Since The National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £43 billion for projects and more than 635,000 grants have been awarded across the UK. Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund.


Follow Northern Roots for daily project updates on  TwitterInstagram and Facebook and find out more at

The Urban Farm at Northern Roots in Oldham.
Mary Higgs, social reformer, conservationist, Oldham resident. By kind permission of Gallery Oldham.
Nature and conservation activity at Northern Roots.
The 160-acre Northern Roots site, looking towards Oldham town centre.