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Blackpool Grand Theatre announces new Arts & Entertainment Board Chairman

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Blackpool Grand Theatre is thrilled to announce the appointment of theatre specialist Alistair Armit as the new Chairman for the Arts & Entertainment Board.

Alistair Armit
Alistair Armit

The Grand is a registered charity run by two voluntary Boards: the Trust, which owns the beautiful Grade II* listed building; and Arts & Entertainment, which operates the thriving arts, education and heritage business.

Former theatre consultant and arts professional Alistair Armit took over the leadership of the Arts & Entertainment Board earlier this year when former Chair, Tony Stone, stepped down to retire after 15 years of dedicated service to the theatre, its employees and its many patrons.

Alistair has already been an active member of the general Board since 2022, using his specialist skills in Theatre Arts and Culture to assist both the former Chair and The Grand’s Chief Executive, Adam Knight, before accepting his new position earlier this year.

Alistair said of his new role:

“Blackpool Grand Theatre has always been a very special place to me, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank both the Arts & Entertainment Board and the Grand Theatre members for all the support and trust they have shown in appointing me as Chair. I would also like to thank Tony Stone who has been the backbone of this theatre for the last 15 years and beyond and will be greatly missed by us all.

Collaboration is key at The Grand and myself and all the Board members are here to support Adam as the decision maker. The amazing show programme Adam has brought to the venue, along with the truly inspiring work the staff here are doing in both community engagement and with young people, makes me extremely proud to be associated with this theatre.”

 

Blackpool Grand Theatre Chief Executive, Adam Knight, said:

I’m delighted that Alistair has been appointed as Chair of the Arts & Entertainment Board. His wide-ranging experience, perspective and industry insight will be invaluable as we continue to build on our successes and develop our position as a nationally recognised local resource, that is welcoming to all and committed to inspiring a life-long love of the theatre

 

Alistair is from an extensive Arts background, having spent the first 11 years of his career as a professional opera singer – touring theatres large and small in the UK and abroad appearing in performances at Glyndebourne and the Royal Northern College of Music for Carl Rosa Opera and Royal Opera North! He then decided to cross the proscenium arch from the stage to behind the theatrical scenes and worked his way up through theatre management roles including in box office, marketing and commercial; eventually becoming a theatre director.

Alistair then moved into IT and became a consultant with a large software company, working with theatres and visitor attractions on both Broadway and London’s West End to ensure they used the latest innovative technology and data for commercial gain. This led to some very exciting projects, from working on the launch of Moulin Rouge on Broadway, being a consultant for stadiums ranging from the Dallas Cowboys to Manchester City, to the installation of software at Buckingham Palace!

More recently his career has taken him away from theatre to run the technology office of the Ingeus global company, which provides government contracts to support people back into work, engage and inspire young people and provide outreach work into the prison service.

Alistair’s superior knowledge within the theatre world now offers a wealth of experience to all The Grand Theatre staff, board members and performers and it was his love of theatre that drew him to join the board in early 2022. “Theatre is in my blood,” he said.

“I missed it so much when my career took me in another direction and joining The Grand has been so wonderful as it gives me the chance to still be involved. I am thrilled to be able to offer practical support in lots of areas including with show contracts, restoration levies and strategy, and I look forward to supporting Blackpool Grand Theatre to continue moving forward after the incredible groundwork that has been laid by our previous Chair.”

Retiring Board Chairman, Tony Stone, said of his role as Grand Theatre Arts & Entertainment Board Member and Chair:

“I can honestly say it’s been one of the most stimulating and fulfilling roles that I have had the pleasure of performing. Why do we do it? Because we believe the theatre plays an important role in the town, not just economically, but socially and educationally, helping Blackpool to be a great place to live, work and learn. It is our way of giving back to a town, a sector and an industry that we believe has the power to transform lives.”

For further information on Blackpool Grand Theatre, please visit www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk

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