News Story

Octagon Exterior photo

We are one of the organisations to receive funding that boosts arts, culture and creativity across the city-region.

We are one of 40 recipients to receive a share of more than £13 million over the next 3-years, from the latest round of Greater Manchester’s Culture Fund – which boosts arts, culture and creativity across the city-region.

£3.9 million will be awarded to organisations in 2023/24 with the remaining funding awarded the following two years. The Octagon will receive £117,920 per year.

As a registered charity, this is welcome funding and will support the invaluable work that we deliver to Bolton and the local community.

Recipients of the funding reflect the growing recognition of the role that arts, culture and creativity can play in the vibrancy and economic prosperity of our places and the good health and wellbeing of our people.

Each year the Octagon provides a wealth of arts and cultural opportunities which have proven to have a positive social, cultural and economic impact on Bolton and Greater Manchester.

A 2021 AMION report we published showed we create an annual saving of over £500,000 to the NHS; provide an estimated value of over £340,000 of education benefits through our extensive work with children and young people; and generate a Gross Value Added (GVA) figure of over £10.8million each year across the UK economy.

The Octagon Chief Executive, Roddy Gauld commented: “This is incredibly welcome news and will sustain our work as an independent charity. Every year we welcome thousands of people from across Greater Manchester to productions made locally, for local people. And in neighbourhoods in and around Bolton, we provide numerous opportunities to improve wellbeing, literacy, employment skills and creative skills with people of all ages and backgrounds. The Octagon is also calculated to save the NHS £500k a year through providing activities that improve wellbeing and mental health. Grants like this are critical to our work and we really appreciate GMCA’s continued investment in us and in culture.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said:“Greater Manchester’s cultural pedigree speaks for itself. This is the home of pioneering music, art, and creativity with a social conscience. While we celebrate that world-famous heritage, we also need to champion innovation and support new talents to break through and make their mark.

“That’s what the Culture Fund is all about, and I’m pleased to see that this year’s cohort – which includes music festivals, museums, and community spaces – captures that breadth and depth of cultural excellence in Greater Manchester.

“Culture and creativity are major economic assets for our city-region, attracting visitors from across the country and around the globe. They also help shape communities and provide an outlet for us to express our thoughts, feelings, and experiences, which is why the Culture Fund is putting a new focus on organisations and projects concerned with physical and mental health and wellbeing.”

Cllr Neil Emmott, Greater Manchester’s Culture lead, said: “This year’s Culture Fund grants will be supporting a whole host of inspiring and impactful cultural organisations across Greater Manchester.

“The 40 groups and organisations receiving funding range from the globally renowned to the locally treasured, but they all play a crucial role in our cultural ecosystem and contribute to our vision of a city-region where everyone has access to high quality culture and leisure opportunities.”

The funding has been awarded through the Spirit and Sustain strands of the Culture Fund, which are collectively designed to support important organisations in Greater Manchester’s cultural landscape and those with both local and international impact.

The Octagon is a registered charity.

Young person pointing

Support the Octagon

Find out how you can support the work of the Octagon