New images released for multi-million pound redevelopment

New images released for multi-million pound redevelopment

With less than a year before opening in spring 2020 we are thrilled to release two new images of the internal of the new theatre.

The Octagon Reimagined project will set the stage for the next 50 years, transforming the building and improving customer experience, updating backstage facilities, increasing accessibility and enabling a wider reach of community work. These two new images are the first insight into what the building will look like when it reopens in 2020.

The new purpose built studio will be home to the our thriving youth and community drama groups. The multi-purpose space will for the first time be lit with energy efficient LED lights and have a moveable lighting rig enabling easier access for teaching technical skills. The studio will also host a program of new theatre giving opportunities for new writing and emerging artists to share their work with Bolton audiences.

The new studio
The new studio

The new two floor café/bar is part of the extensive front of house development of the building, which includes a new larger and brighter entrance and foyer on the corner of Newport Street. The new bar and café will open early until late, serving locally produced food and drink, and will be a creative and social hub for Bolton town centre.

The first floor of the new cafe/bar
The first floor of the new cafe/bar

The building, set to reopen in spring 2020 will be 40% bigger than the previous building, and as well as the Studio and Café/Bar it will accommodate, a brand new classroom sized learning space, a new events and conference space, new offices and backstage areas including wardrobe facilities, and wheelchair accessible dressing rooms and rehearsal space. There will also be a new entrance and foyer, new seats in the main auditorium, improved temperature control, more toilets on all levels including for the first time a Changing Places toilet that will help ensure the Octagon is accessible for all.

“It’s really exciting to see these internal images of the new Octagon.  After years of planning and months of construction the new building is starting to take shape, the steel frame structure is now completed and we can’t wait to reopen and welcome visitors. The Studio will be an exciting space filled with creativity, through our work with community and young people, and through the new plays we’ll be developing and performing.  The café bar will be open daily and we’re creating a warm and welcoming space for people to use whilst working or socialising in Bolton town centre.  With less than a year now until the re-opening, the construction team are hard at work to make our vision a reality.”  Roddy Gauld, Chief Executive 

“As we move into the last few months of construction we are busy planning an exciting programme of events for when the building reopens in 2020. The opening season will include popular, bold and adventurous shows on our stages including loved classics and exciting new writing as well as events and activities to animate the whole building. We can’t wait to throw open our doors and welcome people in.” Lotte Wakeham, Artistic Director 

With the majority of the budget already secured from Bolton Council and Arts Council England along with trust and foundations, businesses and major donors there is still an ongoing fundraising campaign to raise to the final £600,000. Find out more about the public fundraising appeal.