Blackpool Grand Theatre announces senior appointment

By Tim Aldred

13 Mar 2024

Blackpool Grand Theatre Tony Stone Adam Knight Alistair Armit

Blackpool Grand Theatre has appointed experienced industry veteran Alistair Armit as the new chairman of its Arts & Entertainment Board.

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

Alistair, a former theatre consultant and arts professional, takes over from Tony Stone, who stepped down to retire after 15 years of dedicated service to the theatre.

He holds 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 moved behind the 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 included various projects, from working on the launch of Moulin Rouge on Broadway, to consulting 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.

Prior to this appointment, he had 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.

He said: "Theatre is in my blood. 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.

"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."

He added: "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.”

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”.

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