The search is under way for a new manager for Lowther Pavilion following the shock resignation of Mark Alexander.
Mark has quit the Lytham theatre to join his partner Sue McCormick in running her stage production company and says he will look back fondly on his 15 months at the Lowther helm.
“It was a tough decision to make because I have really enjoyed my time in Lytham but Sue’s company is growing fast and this is a great opportunity,” he said. “I will miss the people at Lytham and wish them all the very best for the future.”
Mark took over as Lowther manager in June last year after an extensive nationwide search.
Figures released earlier this summer revealed that under his leadership, the venue saw a 29 per cent increase in ticket sales, from 36,500 in 2012/13 to 47,300 in 2013/14, while ticket receipt value increased from £434,000 to £557,000, a 28 per cent rise.
The attraction of big names considerably helped the venue’s success, with TV funnyman John Bishop’s gig there selling out in less than two hours.
Bishop’s Lowther performance followed one there the previous year by another TV favourite, Jason Manford, and among others who have appeared there or are booked to appear shortly are Omid Djalili, Ruby Wax, Dave Spikey and Milton Jones.
“We thank Mark for his work at Lowther,” said Lowther Trust acting chairman Tim Lince.
“The post has already been advertised and we hope to be interviewing by mid-September.”
In the meantime, Keith Robinson, the venue’s finance manager, has stepped in as acting manager.
Janet Radcliffe, chairman of the Friends of Lowther, said: “Mark did a great job and we will miss him.”
Before his appointment at Lowther, Mark, 57, spent five years as production manager of Oldham’s Coliseum Theatre.