27 November, 2020

Trustee Changes at Pitlochry as Theatre Looks to the Future

Colin Liddell who has been Chair of the Board of Trustees of Pitlochry Festival Theatre for the past nine years has taken up a new position within the Board to lead the Vision 2021 Committee, overseeing the Theatre’s exciting and ambitious development plans. The Board has unanimously agreed that current Trustee Crawford Gillies will take over the position of Chair from November 10. 

“At no time in my 9 years as Chair and 18 years as a Trustee has there been a better moment to hand over the baton to Crawford,” said Colin Liddell. He continued, “Nine years is a long time to lead any charity these days and despite the challenges of Covid-19 and the enforced closure of the Theatre, Pitlochry Festival Theatre is in a stronger position than I have ever known.

“I am delighted that Crawford has been elected as the new Chair. He brings great leadership skills to take the Theatre forward with the Board and of course our Executive Director, Kris Bryce and Artistic Director, Elizabeth Newman.

“It is an honour to have been asked to stay on the Board in order to lead the Vision 2021 Committee. We have much work to do although we have already raised significant funds enabling us to embark on Phase 1 of the development whilst the Theatre is closed. Phase 1 involves the creation of a studio theatre within the existing East Dock so that, from next summer, the Theatre will be able to offer performances on two different stages.

“Phase 2 of the development will follow as soon as possible after the completion of Phase 1 to provide essential improvements to the main auditorium and backstage areas and enhance visitor experience throughout with improved catering, retail and relaxation spaces.

“It has been a privilege to uphold the vision of the Theatre’s founder, John Stewart and now to have the opportunity to enhance that vision through the Theatre’s development plans.”

Crawford Gillies, the new Chair of Pitlochry Festival Theatre, is a native of Perth having been educated at Edinburgh and Harvard Universities. He is a former Chair of Scottish Enterprise (2009-16) and recently stepped down from the Board of SSE (2015-20). He remains Chair of the Edrington Group, whose brands include The Macallan and The Famous Grouse, and is the Senior Independent Director of Barclays plc.

Crawford said, “Although the Theatre remains closed at the moment, I am hugely excited by the potential of Pitlochry Festival Theatre and the role it can play in the future of Perthshire and beyond. I look forward to working with the Board and our superb leadership team to realise that potential.”

Kris Bryce, Executive Director of Pitlochry Festival Theatre said, “Elizabeth and I, each already have an excellent relationship with Crawford in his role as a Trustee, and look forward to continuing to work with him and the Board.

“These are challenging times for Pitlochry Festival Theatre and the theatre industry as a whole. Difficult times still lie ahead. However, when hopefully we open up the Theatre next year, we will be back even stronger with exciting new developments and performances.

“We are also delighted that Colin remains very much part of the future of Pitlochry Festival Theatre and look forward to continuing to work with him and the Vision 2021 Committee in the development and expansion of the Theatre over the next few years.”

For more on Vision 2021 and plans for the second performance space, click HERE

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