Mayor, Cllr Linda Thomas sends a message of support for the Octagon Future Fund.
The Octagon was due to reopen this summer after 2 years being closed due to a major redevelopment. However due to Covid-19 the construction of the building has been delayed which has led to over £500,000 in lost income for the charity. Combined with uncertainty of how social distancing will affect live performances the theatre is facing the most challenging time in its 50 year history.
In response the theatre launched the Octagon Future Fund in late May and has raised over £48,000 from over 490 individuals accompanied with messages of the support for the theatre.
Bolton Mayor, Cllr Linda Thomas sent this video message of support:
Roddy Gauld Chief Executive of the theatre commented: “Thank you to the Mayor and Bolton Council for their steadfast support of the Octagon. With thanks to Bolton Council and Arts Council England among other funders, our world class theatre will soon be completed.
The Octagon generates millions every year to the local economy and attracts thousands of visitors to Bolton: every week we are closed the town is losing out, not just the Octagon. We will be applying for some of the Government’s emergency support for the cultural sector but our success is not guaranteed and a decision could be up to two months away. We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported our Future Fund – their generosity has helped us get this far and put the theatre back on more solid ground to plan for our future. Social distancing will have a profound effect on theatre. We typically need at least 75% of seats to be sold for shows for a production to be financially viable and that just won’t be possible with social distancing. We are reviewing every aspect of our organisation to find a way forward that is artistically exciting, inclusive of our whole community and financially sustainable. We are determined that we WILL be back.
We cannot wait for the day we can open our doors and let people in and will announce a new re-opening date in due course.
We are incredibly grateful for everyone’s continued support – thank you for all your donations and messages to our Future Fund campaign.”