Octagon Theatre announces match funder for donation appeal

Octagon Theatre announces match funder for donation appeal

To support the charity during the Covid-19 pandemic The Oglesby Charitable Trust will match public donations to the theatre.


With the delay to the reopening of the Octagon Theatre town centre building and significant loss of income from ticket sales due to the pandemic, the Octagon is facing one of the most significant financial challenges in its history.

Recently the theatre, which is a registered charity, launched the “Octagon Future Fund” asking audiences and supporters to donate to help support the charity through the financial difficulties caused by the pandemic. The Octagon is now delighted to announce generous match funding from The Oglesby Charitable Trust, meaning that all donations made in the coming weeks will be doubled, with every £1 donated having double the impact for the charity. 

Chief Executive Roddy Gauld comments: “We are incredibly grateful to The Oglesby Charitable Trust for their generous support and to all of the people who have donated to the Octagon so far.  We’re making savings, changes and fighting hard to secure the future of the Octagon and it’s fantastic that we can now double every donation we receive.

Bolton has always stood by the Octagon – from individual donations to steadfast support from Bolton Council.  The people of Bolton helped to build the Octagon 50 years ago and the theatre has been the cultural heart of the town ever since.  We were poised to re-open this summer after a major redevelopment and instead we face our biggest ever challenge.  I believe the Octagon has a vital role to play in Bolton’s recovery from Covid-19, not just for offering world-class theatre, but because we contribute over £6m to the local economy and bring people from far and wide to the town.  There will be a time again when people will be ready to enjoy fantastic nights out and we want to be there for you.  So I’m asking anyone who feels inspired and able to support us, to do so, knowing your donation will be doubled and will make a big difference to ensuring that we will be back.”

Oglesby Charitable Trust Chair of Trustees Kate Vokes comments “The Oglesby Charitable Trust is delighted to provide match funding to this campaign. As a longstanding supporter of the Octagon, we hope that this Crowdfunder enables the organisation to deliver a truly community-led reopening of the theatre: a spectacular space which will be a wonderful resource for Bolton for years to come.”

2020 was set to be the biggest year in the Octagon’s history with the re-opening of a world class theatre after two years of construction. With no warning or safety net, Covid-19 has forced the theatre’s opening to be delayed and the charity is facing a loss of half a million pounds.

The theatre is aiming to raise at least £15,000 in donations by the end of June, to help the Octagon at what is the most challenging time for the arts and theatre.

Artistic Director Lotte Wakeham adds, “At this challenging time, we will continue to support our audiences, participants and community in every way we can, from online theatre clubs for the over 50s to digital youth theatre and storytelling sessions.  As soon as it is safe to do so, we want to open our beautiful new building, and throw open the doors to welcome the whole community in.  We will be back – with the magic of live theatre – and we’re grateful for everyone’s help and support in making it happen.” 

To donate to the Octagon Future Fund visit crowdfunder.co.uk/octagon-future-fund or call our box office team on 01204 520 661.