The Academy at the Octagon Theatre Bolton awarded £140,000 for 3 year project

The Academy at the Octagon Theatre Bolton awarded £140,000 for 3 year project

The Academy at the Octagon Theatre has secured funding to continue the delivery of the landmark project for young people in Bolton.

For the next three years the Academy, delivered by the Octagon Theatre, will engage with over 100 young people in Bolton. Each cohort of 35 young people will create, produce and tour a piece of theatre over a nine month project.

Now in its seventh year, the Academy works to raise the aspirations and confidence of young people in Bolton aged 14-21 through weekly workshops with industry professionals. Helping young people identify the skills they want to develop, the project offers opportunities for young people to gain industry experience in the theatres new writing, communications and production departments.

The Academy unites young people from a wide range of different experiences and backgrounds to create a piece of theatre together. Fostering their talent and enthusiasm, fantastic relationships are forged within the group who then take their piece out into the community.

The Academy will work in partnership with Bolton Youth Offending Team and will also recruit care leavers, care givers and other young people who would not ordinarily have access to theatre.

This year the Academy produced a piece of theatre that toured to 13 venues reaching over 1000 people in Bolton’s schools, Young People’s Centres and Housing Schemes.

An Academy participant reflects: “Being a part of the Academy this year is something I will never forget, I’ve learnt a great amount of skills from writing a script to teamwork. Not only did we create an amazing production but we built a bond that nobody could ever replace”.

The Octagon Theatre has received funding totalling £140,000 from IGEN Trust, The Oglesby Charitable Trust, Greater Manchester High Sheriff’s Police Trust and the Peter Kershaw Trust. The crucial funding has secured the future of the project that will work towards the long term goals of reducing social isolation, developing important life-skills and the future employability of young people in Bolton.

Roddy Gauld, Chief Executive comments: “I am so proud of the achievement and success of all the young people that have been involved in the Academy so far.  Year on year they have exceeded our expectations and their own.  The Academy is one of our flagship participation projects, and brings life changing opportunities to individuals and helps them develop skills through taking part in the arts.  I am grateful to our funders that we are able to continue providing this unique opportunity for young people in Bolton.”

The 2018/19 Academy term for this year started in December. To find out more email Amy Liptrott on or call 01204 556 501.