Yesterday the official ‘Topping out’ of the multi million pound redevelopment of the Octagon Theatre in Bolton was marked by members of Bolton Council and Arts Council England.
The project is transforming the Octagon’s town centre building to ensure the theatre is fit for the future through improving accessibility, visitor experience, updating backstage facilities, and enabling a wider reach of the theatre’s community work. The topping out ceremony marks the moment the top section of the new building is put into place.
Roddy Gauld, Chief Executive of the Octagon comments: “This is a huge milestone in the redevelopment of the Octagon. It is the biggest transformation of the building in our history and the Topping Out is an exciting moment as we reach the top of the building, which is now in sections, two storeys higher than before. The construction team have done a fantastic job so far and with the steel frame now in place we can see the size and shape of the new building that will be 40% larger. When completed in spring 2020 the new theatre will be at the centre of cultural, business and community activity in Bolton and we can’t wait to reopen and welcome the people of Bolton and beyond through our doors.”
Leader of Bolton Council and the Greater Manchester portfolio lead for culture, Cllr David Greenhalgh, said: “The topping out ceremony is a key stage in the redevelopment of this wonderful theatre.
The Octagon is a major cultural attraction for Bolton, bringing in visitors from across Greater Manchester and much further afield.
As a council we are very proud to support this project and I am looking forward to visiting the completed venue.”
Alison Clark, Director North, Arts Council England said, “The redevelopment of the Octagon Theatre will transform the theatre offer for the people of Bolton and encourage more visitors to come to the area. The Arts Council is pleased to be supporting this project through our National Lottery funded Capital scheme and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished building and experiencing some exciting new work.”
Anthony Dillon, managing director of Willmott Dixon in the North, said: “Today’s ceremony is a reminder of the collaboration and the wide range of skills needed to make exciting projects like this a reality, and, recognition of another key milestone on the project.
Alongside Bolton Council, JM Architects, Charcoalblue and our supply chain partners, we’re delighted to play our part in transforming the Octagon into a larger, more contemporary facility, fit to stage leading performances in the heart of Bolton.
We are proud of the projects we have delivered with Bolton Council and the contribution to the ongoing regeneration of the town through projects such as the Museum, Market and Albert Halls.”
With the majority of the £11M 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.
Photo by Ray Jefferson, Bolton Documentary Photography