A WELL-KNOWN Greenock businessman has swapped the boardroom for the box office after becoming a director at the Beacon.

Former Brands Electronics boss Douglas Brands has joined the board of the theatre’s parent company, Greenock Arts Guild Ltd.

He was previously chairman of the electronics company, which he founded with brother Tom in 1986, and sold in a deal worth £8.6 million 15 years ago.

Two years later, along with sister Sharon Murdoch, Mr Brands established the hugely-successful Funworld indoor play area at Fort Matilda.

The company was sold in July to an off-shoot of the G1 Group — one of Scotland’s largest hospitality companies.

Now Douglas hopes to use his business expertise to help the Beacon continue to prosper.

Mr Brands said: “During my younger days, I was involved for a number of years backstage in the Arts Guild Theatre.

“The Beacon is a great asset to Inverclyde and I’m looking forward to becoming involved, together with the existing and the other new directors, in working to ensure its ongoing success.”

Mr Brands is the latest new addition to the board following the appointments of retired Inverclyde teacher Isabel Lind OBE and Lynsey Currie, who runs Greenock-based Thistle Theatre Company, in July.

Chief executive Jackie Shearer said: “Douglas is well-respected as a local businessman and he will add to the existing talents of the board.”

Beacon chairman Allan Robertson also welcomed the latest appointment.

He said: “I’m really pleased that Douglas will be joining.

“His expertise in business, leisure and catering will strengthen the board and I am looking forward to the fresh thoughts and ideas that he will bring.”