New CEO at Blackpool Grand Theatre

On 1st July Neil Thomson will step down from his position as chief executive at The Grand.  After working there for thirty years, including the last six as CEO, Neil has brought some great changes to the theatre, including securing National Portfolio status for the theatre.  He said of his departure:

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

Blackpool Grand Theatre’s Chairman, Tony Stone, revealed Neil’s successor to be Theatre Consultant Ruth Eastwood, saying:

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.

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 Eastwood

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.


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