Profile – Allan Farmer manager of WHALE Arts


Allan recently welcomed the Princess Royal to WHALE

Who are you, and where did you come from?

I am the Manager at WHALE Arts in Wester Hailes.  I rejoined the organisation in January 2014 having been there on a maternity cover contract in 2011.  I have worked with a range of community, social enterprise and voluntary sector organisations, most recently with the Scottish Community Alliance.

What is the business book you recommend that everyone should read? .

Social Enterprise in Anytown – John Pearce

What was the defining moment on your career path that has got you where you are now? 

There have been a few key moments but starting with Aberdeen Foyer opened up the world of social enterprise to me.

How do you spend your spare time?

With family and friends.

Do you think you achieve a good work/life balance?

Just about…

What makes Edinburgh the best location for you to live and/or work?

It’s got all the best bits of an international city (history, architecture, culture) but is compact enough to walk/cycle everywhere.

What is your special area of Edinburgh, or special place in Edinburgh and why?

UnionCanal 8

Wester Hailes – it’s great to work with so many inspiring local residents and organisations.

Arthur’s Seat – a bit of the countryside in the middle of the city.

What would you consider the pinnacle of your career?

My current job.

If you have a mentor then could you tell us who that is and about your relationship.

No official mentor but lots of support from the WHALE Board, friends and colleagues.

What benefits does that relationship bring to you and your business?

Different perspectives and expertise to draw upon.

Which networking groups in Edinburgh have you found particularly useful?

Senscot, Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network

Spot Allan at the back!

Spot Allan at the back!

Who are your business heroes?

I’ve learned a lot from working with some great people and have been hugely impressed by the work of Muhammad Yunus.

What are your business goals for the next year?

Increase the sustainability of WHALE Arts

Whale 2Describe your typical day for us.

There is so much daily variety in what’s happening at WHALE that a typical day is hard to define!

Best job advice you ever received?

To take on the maternity contract at WHALE in 2011.


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