The Octagon take a step closer to their fundraising target of £9.87 million with help from The Foyle Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation along with other charitable trusts pledging their support.
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.
The Foyle Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation have both generously donated £100,000 towards the £1.5m fundraising target to help secure the theatre for generations to come. Similarly, the Wolfson Foundation has supported the Octagon Reimagined project with the sum of £50,000 and Bolton family trust – The Sir James & Lady Scott Trust – has pledged £30,000 towards the project.
A combined sum of £145,000 has already been secured from The Oglesby Charitable Trust and The Granada Foundation both of whom have chosen to support the Octagon wishing to encourage and promote the study, practice and appreciation of the arts in the North West.
With funding pledges already in place from the Arts Council England and Bolton Council for the £9.87m project the Octagon Reimagined capital appeal is currently thriving, having achieved a third of the fundraising target of £1.5 million.
Roddy Gauld, Chief Executive of the Octagon comments: “The reimagined Octagon will be a theatre that all of Bolton can enjoy and be proud of for generations to come. These grants are highly competitive, and so it says a lot about the excitement and ambition of our plans that we’ve been so successful. We’ve still got the final £1m to raise and there’s a huge amount of fundraising going on, from national grants such as these to bucket collections and marathons. I’m really confident that others will keep supporting us and I’d like to thank everybody who has donated so far.”
Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Linda Thomas, a member of the Octagon Theatre Board of Trustees comments: “We are very lucky to have such a superb arts facility in the borough and the theatre is also an important part of our masterplan to redevelop the town centre. The Octagon has been doing superb work for 50 years, producing high calibre theatre and doing much-valued community work. These generous donations will help to ensure that it continues to be loved by generations to come, not just by people living in Bolton but by the many visitors which it attracts to our town.”
Through the generosity of the public fundraising efforts have continued to grow, however there is still a way to go. There are many ways to support the theatre, such as corporate partnerships, the ‘Buy a Brick’ and ‘Sponsor a Seat’ schemes. Hamlet actor David Ricardo-Pearce is running the London Marathon to raise money for the Octagon and a team from the theatre including Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman are running the Greater Manchester 10k in May.
This redevelopment will be the most comprehensive one in the theatre’s history, transforming the Octagon to support local communities for years to come. While the building work is taking place, the Octagon will still have productions taking place across Bolton. This begins in May with Summer Holiday at the Travel Interchange and Albert Halls and Gulliver’s Travels at Queens Park.
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