Blackpool Grand Theatre Looks to Refresh Board

22 November 2013

Blackpool’s Grand Theatre Trust Board is launching a process to find individuals with the skills to help preserve and develop the building for future generations and raise awareness of the importance of the Theatre to Blackpool’s heritage and in the national context.

In line with best practice, the Trust periodically reviews the skills and experiences it requires to maintain The Grand in excellent condition.

Trust Chair, David Coupe, said, “We are inviting applications from people who are willing to give their time and expertise and who have an interest in theatre and our built heritage.

“As well as the on-going work required to sensitively maintain and update our Grade II* listed building, we have the exciting prospect of a major capital development programme to extend and upgrade our facilities to ensure The Grand meets the needs of twenty-first century audiences.

“We also anticipate being given responsibility for the Theatre’s extensive historical collections and archives.

“Prospective candidates should be aware that, as the Trust is a charity, there is no remuneration for these positions.”

The Trust is inviting applications from people with the following skills and experience:

  • An experienced accountant to monitor the Trust’s financial systems.
  • A chartered architect or chartered surveyor with experience of heritage buildings.
  • An experienced building conservation specialist who understands the importance of the Grand Theatre to Blackpool’s heritage

  • A theatre historian who can help us promote the national importance of The Grand as an outstanding Matcham designed Victorian theatre which every year continues to present the performing arts in all their diverse forms
  • A local historian who can research and explain the significance of The Grand’s contribution to Blackpool’s unique history of entertainment.
  • A lawyer able to demonstrate knowledge and experience of charity law
  • A fundraiser of proven ability to oversee and guide the theatre in developing new initiatives.
  • A person with substantial governance experience in the voluntary sector to be appointed as Vice Chair of the Theatre Trust

Existing Board members who are willing to continue as directors are at liberty to apply for the advertised positions.

Full details can be found in the information pack along with an application form that can be downloaded from or by contacting Robert Kearton on 01253 290111; email [email protected].


Blackpool’s Grand Theatre – Heritage and History

The Grand Theatre was opened on July 23, 1894 by Thomas Sergenson who immediately dubbed the theatre 'Matcham's Masterpiece'. This title is even more merited now.  There are few surviving examples of the work of Frank Matcham, the leading Victorian theatre architect. The theatre took just nine months to build and cost Sergenson £20,000.

By the early 1960s theatres across Britain were closing due to loss of audience to television and in July 1972 the then owners, the Tower Company, applied for permission to demolish it. In its place they proposed to build a department store. By then, however, following an application to the Department of the Environment, the theatre had been listed as a Grade II* building and there had to be a full public enquiry.

Early in 1972 the Friends of the Grand was formed and after legal and financial wrangling, they, together with EMI and Blackpool Council, put together a deal involving leasing the theatre for £10,000 per annum and final purchase for £250,000.

Two years ago The Grand celebrated its 30th Anniversary of ownership by the Theatre Trust having re-opened on Wednesday 23rd March, 1981 with Timothy West and Prunella Scales in the Old Vic production of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.

The theatre is owned by Blackpool Grand Theatre Trust, a charity, and operated by Blackpool Grand Theatre Arts and Entertainments Ltd.

For further information on Blackpool’s Grand Theatre please visit:

Arts Council England (ACE) National Portfolio Organisation (NPO)

Blackpool Grand Theatre became one of only 693 Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisations receiving regular funding from 1 April 2012. A Contemporary Dance programme has been established with £120,000 of ACE funding per year for three years (£360,000 in total). Earlier this year The Grand successfully bid for £700,000 of ACE Capital Funding to develop the theatre’s facilities.

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