North Devon theatre chief steps down

15:23 29 January 2014

Alan Giddings is retiring as chief executive of North Devon Theatres Trust.

Alan Giddings is retiring as chief executive of North Devon Theatres Trust.

Archant

Curtain falls on long career running theatres in Barnstaple and Ilfracombe.

Alan Giddings is retiring as chief executive of North Devon Theatres Trust.Alan Giddings is retiring as chief executive of North Devon Theatres Trust.

ALAN Giddings has announced that he is stepping down as chief executive of North Devon Theatres’ Trust.

Mr Giddings is retiring on Friday after 14 years at the helm of the Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple and the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe, as well as the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon in Barnstaple.

The trust is not appointing a new chief executive, although programme director Alan Dodd will become director of the theatres.

Mr Giddings said running the theatres had been a ‘real privilege’.

He said: “I shall really miss it; when I was asked to take on the job of running the refurbished Queen’s Theatre and the newly-built Landmark all those years ago, little did I know how all-consuming it would be.

“I knew the area reasonably well from visiting on holiday since the 1970s and having relatives in the county, but it takes time to get to know an area really well and in my village I’m still regarded as an incomer.

“From the start, we wanted to create an organisation that would engage with the local communities in the area, bringing them shows they wanted to see and also a range of other arts and entertainment events that they didn’t know they wanted until they tried them, and enjoyed them.”

Mr Giddings said there had been a number of highlights down the years although community World War II musical Kisses on a Postcard, had been a particularly poignant moment.

“Another brief mention should also go to the North Devon Festival, which at its height with over 800 events across the region really put North Devon on the national cultural map,” he added.

“It’s so important in one of the more remote rural areas like North Devon that communities are given opportunities in the arts, to experience them, to participate and to learn.

“But all these things are only possible because of two key elements: strong financial support, which in our case has been from North Devon Council and the Arts Council, and of course the businesses and people of North Devon.

“No commercial theatre can do what we can do, because as a charity all proceeds are re-invested into programme and learning projects which means that everything stays in our area to benefit the people.

“And the second major element is the theatres’ staff. Our brilliant team are truly remarkable, catching everything that is thrown at them with a skill and adroitness that puts many bigger theatre organisations to shame.

“Yes, there will be challenges ahead in these financially testing times, but I’m sure that North Devon Theatres will continue to push on, lead by my replacement Alan Dodd and the rest of the staff.

“My thanks go to them and to all the trustees over the years who have been so supportive, and of course to the good people of North Devon.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

30 minutes ago

Officers need help to identify man and two women after alleged public order offence in Maiden Street and The Strand.

Read more
26 minutes ago

Three fire crews called out to ‘heavily smoking’ tumble dryer in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday).

Read more
Yesterday, 17:03
Guards Jim Price and Graham Bridge celebrate Armed Forces Day at Lynton and Barnstaple Railway. Picture: Eggmedia Ltd

Heritage railway teams up with armed forces charity to mark Armed Forces Day

Read more
Yesterday, 16:25
A Hercules transport plane makes a fly past at the funeral ofLes Francis in Barnstaple.

A high flying guest joins mourners at the funeral of Les Francis, 97

Read more
Yesterday, 13:45
Get ready - a heatwave is set to hit North Devon!

Temperatures are set to build across North Devon with the hottest day of the year so far expected on Wednesday.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:11
Geoffrey Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon.

Torridge MP Geoffrey Cox has welcomed new figures which show more than 130 people across region helped to launch business.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:01
Where can you recycle in Torridge?

Torridge District Council has halted kerbside recycling collections - so where can you take your recycling? Find out here.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:43
Recycling collections in Torridge have been halted.

Residents in Torridge told not to put out their kerbside recycling ‘until further announcements’ following South Molton Recycle going into administration today (Monday).

Read more
Yesterday, 11:14
Richard Armitage and Bret Seldon (aka Burgess).

The serious order, granted for two Devon drugs gang members, is a first for Devon and Cornwall Police.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00
South Molton Recycle staff and Torridge District Council officers and members shake hands on a new £2.45million recycling contract.

South Molton Recycle has announced this morning (Monday) it has gone into administration, with 30 job losses.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 16°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition



North Devon's trusted business finder