The former boss of Preston Guild Hall will be returning to the venue to produce this year’s Christmas pantomime, it has been revealed.
Chris Haylett, who resigned from his position as general manager in April, is being paid by Preston Council to produce this year’s pantomime of Cinderella which is being written and directed by comedian Ted Robbins.
Mr Haylett stepped down from his position as Guild Hall manager just weeks after a council probe cleared him of serious allegations made at a tribunal by his former colleague Kerry Walsh.
Mrs Walsh, former head of marketing and development at Preston Guild Hall and Charter Theatre, was awarded £68,000 for unfair dismissal at the tribunal.
During the tribunal, she made allegations about Mr Haylett including alleging he hired out the council’s production equipment under his own company Cheeky Monkey to clients for a profit.
Preston Council carried out a full investigation and stood by Chris Haylett and said there was no case to answer.
Mr Haylett said his decision to leave the Guild Hall had nothing to do with Kerry Walsh and that he was leaving to pursue other opportunities.
One his return to produce the pantomime, Chris Haylett said: “I am very passionate about the entertainment scene in Preston and pantomime is a major part of that culture.
“It is an absolute pleasure to be yet again delivering Lancashire’s biggest and best panto.”
A Preston Council spokesman said: “The council has been out to competitive tender for producing this year’s pantomime at the Guild Hall which was won by Chris Haylett.
“The pantomime ends in January 2014 and payments to Chris will be published in the council’s accounts, as by law we have to publish all payments made over £500.”