New Chief Executive for Blackpool Grand Theatre

24 May 2013

Blackpool’s Grand Theatre Chairman, Tony Stone, has announced that Theatre Consultant Ruth Eastwood has now been appointed to the position of Chief Executive of the theatre.

Mr Tony Stone said, “I am delighted by this appointment and it comes with the support of all the theatre’s trustees and major stakeholders. Ruth is just the right person to take our wonderful theatre forward, and will contribute not only to the financial success of the theatre, but the wider economy of all the Fylde Coast.”

Neil Thomson will hand over the reins of the glorious Grand Theatre to Ruth Eastwood from 1st July 2013.

Neil Thomson said, “After careful consideration and serious thought, I have decided to step down as Chief Executive. I have steered The Grand through some challenging times and also helped to secure National Portfolio Status. After working at The Grand for 30 years and as CEO for the last 6 years, I feel that now is the time to hand over the reins.

My involvement and love for The Grand will continue and I will always be there to support it in any way I can.”

Ruth Eastwood is an experienced Chief Executive who has worked as an interim manager and freelance consultant since 2009.  Recent clients include the Theatrical Management Association, the Mercury Theatre, Colchester and Salisbury Playhouse Theatre.  Prior to this she was CEO of Leicester Theatre Trust, where she successfully managed the transfer of the Haymarket Theatre’s operation into the new state of the art building, Curve.  She also oversaw the transition of Poole Arts Centre into Lighthouse, Poole, the largest arts centre outside London and home of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Ruth is a trustee of the Theatres Trust, the national advisory body which champions and protects the importance of theatre buildings.
Ruth said of her appointment, “I am delighted to join the team at The Grand.  It is a privilege to be chosen to lead this important and much-loved theatre into the future and build on the huge successes of the past.”

Blackpool’s Grand Theatre is a beautiful Grade II* listed Victorian theatre which was designed by renowned architect Frank Matcham in 1894. The Grand offers visitors a packed all- year-round eclectic programme.

Early last year, in a bid supported by Blackpool Council, the Grand Theatre secured £120,000 per year over three years to become a regional centre of excellence for contemporary dance.
In addition to this, the Grand Theatre’s recent partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) offers an exciting three year programme for local schools and colleges.  This includes a visit from the RSC's Young Peoples Touring Production and a range of theatre and arts projects which will offer creative ways for children and young people to explore the people and places in Shakespeare's stories. In the final year The Grand will create a Shakespeare Festival with schools, colleges, and the RSC. 


Notes For Editors:
For more information about the Grand Theatre or to book tickets for any show, please visit or call the Grand Theatre Box Office on 01253 290190.
For further press information or images, please contact:
Emma Rampley 01253 743213 [email protected]
Grand Theatre Blackpool
33 Church Street

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