With a background in publishing, printing and book-selling, Allan joined the Stationers’ Company in 1987. After 31 years as a liveryman, he stepped up into his new one-year role, which is the equivalent to chair position, last Tuesday (3 July) and succeeds Nick Steidl, who now becomes Immediate Past Master.
Ian Allan Group was founded by Allan’s father to publish rail and other transport titles. Today its publishing side is focused on masonic titles while the group’s other businesses focus on corporate travel, property and organic seaweed extract.
Allan said he recognises that his role as Master is to build on the work of his predecessors and he hopes to “use the past to plan the future”.
Building work and the fundraising to enable modernisation to go ahead at Stationers’ Hall and the adjacent church, St Martin-within-Ludgate, will be progressed during his term of office.
The Stationers’ archive has moved to the new Tokefield Centre, but the organisation said it has “ambitious plans” that will provide facilities to safeguard both its own future and the fabric of the hall.
“Stationers has proved to be a really good networking organisation. Some of the best people in the content and communications world are in it and are happy to provide advice and chat over problems and opportunities which are common to us all,” said Allan.
“It remains a really relevant organisation with its lectures, talks and roundtables and the broadening of the membership has allowed us to address an even wider range of issues and to learn from the entire supply chain. You get to hear about and understand the whole process.”
Allan added he is passionate about attracting new talent into the industries that the Stationers’ Company represents and that his favourite role within the organisation was as a Trustee of the Stationers’ Foundation.
Under his chairmanship the bias changed from donations of equipment to schools to increasing the number of bursaries to postgraduate students who are planning careers in print and related industries and, in partnership with Civitas, the introduction of Saturday schools, which focus on improving literacy.
Now with the Stationers’ Crown Woods Academy and the Shine Awards added, as well as apprenticeships, Allan said he believes that the organisation has a foothold in all levels of education and that young people are getting to hear more about the opportunities within the trades.