New Board Members Announced

New Board Members Announced

We are delighted to announce the appointment of 5 new members to our Board of Trustees.

The new members bring with them extensive knowledge and experience across a plethora of commercial and creative sectors. The Octagon’s board now consists of 16 active members, all with strong ties to the Octagon and the Bolton region. 

Joining at our AGM in November, the new members include: Chief Executive of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, Fiona Noden; Manchester based writer, producer and award-winning actor Esh Alladi; Chief Executive of George House Trust, Darren Knight; Chief Operating Officer at Manchester Codes, Kirsty Devlin, and West Yorkshire based theatre director Sameena Hussain.

As a charity, our Board of Trustees are all volunteers. The board is responsible for governing the charity including the approval of finances, senior appointments and strategy. The Octagon is committed to appoint a board that represents the diversity of the community, as well as ensuring it has the necessary cultural, charity and business experience to govern effectively.

Chair of the Octagon Board, Claire Moreland commented: “We are delighted to welcome the newest members to our Board, all of whom are valued leaders in their industry fields. We look forward to learning from their expertise and experience as they provide fresh insight and ideas to help advance the Octagon’s mission in the years ahead.”


Bolton-born Fiona Noden is Chief Executive of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust. Starting her career in healthcare as a Radiographer she has extensive experience in health management and strategy, successfully managing performance, finance and change in complex environments. Throughout her career she has been pivotal in establishing relationships across both large multi-disciplinary teams, and across organisations.

Esh Alladi is an actor, writer and producer based in Manchester. His work spans across stage, screen and radio and throughout his career he has performed at the National Theatre, RSC, Globe, Royal Exchange and Sheffield Crucible. In 2019 he won the UK Theatre Award for Best Supporting Performance for his performance in Hobson’s Choice (Royal Exchange). His first short film The Listener, which he co-produced, was longlisted for a BAFTA.  In addition to his work in the arts, Esh is also a practising Doctor working in the Emergency Department at North Manchester General Hospital

Bolton-based Darren Knight is the Chief Executive of George House Trust, an organisation that provides support to those living with HIV and campaigns to tackle the stigma associated with the condition. Previously the CEO at Bolton CVS, Darren has extensive background in the charity and voluntary support sector.

Chief Operating Officer at Manchester Code, Kirsty Devlin has forged a successful career in the tech industry as well as championing learning and development opportunities. Her social enterprise, Recode CIC based in Bolton Marketplace, introduce those from low socio-economic background in to employment in the tech industry. Kirsty was awarded Top 100 Changemaker by the Big Issue and Top 50 Most Influential Black Voices in Tech by Tech Nation in 2019.

West Yorkshire based theatre director Sameena Hussain is currently the Resident Assistant Director at Leeds Playhouse as part of the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme. She has worked with various theatres, arts organisations and communities throughout her career –  with a focus on forging relationships with communities to remove barriers preventing them from engaging with theatre.

They join current board members: Claire Moreland DL; Lucinda Harvey; Stephen Young; Tania Lewyckyj; Carol Southern; Steve Plant; Helen Bowder; Cllr Martyn Cox; Ian Tabbron; Vicki Jackson and Cllr Madeleine Murray. The current trustees have a wide of range of experience including in finance, local government, education, human resources and theatre management.

The appointment of the new members comes at a pivotal time in the Octagon's history as we prepare to reopen our doors following a £12million redevelopment.

For over 50 years the Octagon has been the heart of Bolton’s cultural community and champions the local and regional theatre landscape. The reimagined Octagon promises a ‘creative home’ with spaces to meet, learn and enjoy an exciting, bold and dynamic programme of live theatre and entertainment.