New Chair of Board of Trustees appointed

New Chair of Board of Trustees appointed

Meet the new Chair of our Board of Trustees.

Image: (L to R) Octagon Artistic Director Lotte Wakeham, new Chair, Darren Knight and current Chair, Claire Moreland.

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Darren Knight as the new Chair of the Board of Trustees. The trustees are voluntary governors of the charity.

Bolton-based Darren 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.

The current Chair, Claire Moreland, will be stepping down from the end of this month and Darren will officially take the post on from then. Claire has been on the board of trustees and Chair of the charity since 2016.

During her time as Chair, Claire has seen the Octagon celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017, supported the venue through a £12million redevelopment which included a two-year off-site programme and guided the charity through the challenges of the Covid pandemic.

Darren joined our Board of Trustees in November 2020.

On being appointed as the new Chair, Darren said: “I am honoured to be selected as the new Chair of the Octagon Board of Trustees. The Octagon is a beloved part of Bolton’s DNA that champions the local and regional theatre landscape and is dedicated to supporting the needs of its community. I hope to continue in the wonderful footsteps of the current Chair, Claire Moreland, who leaves big shoes to fill. I am very much looking forward to being a part of the next chapter in the Octagon’s story.”

Claire Moreland added: “I am delighted that Darren has been appointed as the new Chair of the Octagon. He brings a tremendous wealth of experience that will be an invaluable asset to the charity. After working with him for the last 12 months I know that he has the passion, experience and skills to make a huge difference as the Octagon continues to deliver its vision for the future and continues its work to be a world class artistic, cultural and community hub for the town of Bolton.”

Artistic Director at the Octagon, Lotte Wakeham commented: “Claire has served as Chair with absolute dedication. She has given endless encouragement and wise counsel to the theatre over the last six years and we’re incredibly grateful to her. We are fortunate to have Darren to follow her. He will be an impressive Chair, with his track record in Bolton and the charity sector along with his enthusiastic belief in the Octagon’s work.”