Read details of our economic, social and cultural impact on Bolton!
Five months on since opening our doors following our redevelopment, we are delighted to share the results from a report which details our economic, cultural and social impact on Bolton and Greater Manchester.
The report shows that we generate a Gross Value Added (GVA) figure of over £10.8 million each year across the UK economy, with over £8.4 million of that generated for Bolton and Greater Manchester.
Carried out by specialist economic advisory company AMION Consulting, that figure is calculated by considering such factors as our role as a local employer, a spearhead for attracting visitors to the town and investor in the local supply chain.
The report also revealed the social value of the Octagon, through research highlighting the benefits arising from engagement in arts and culture.
Attending Octagon productions, as well as participating in our creative engagement programmes, created an annual saving of over £500,000 to the NHS – taken from government research conducted which found that people would report being in better physical and mental health as a result of attending or participating in arts events.
Through our extensive work with children and young people, the education benefits amount to an estimated annual value of over £340,000.
Audience research also revealed that 98% of our audience agreed that the Octagon was good for the image of Bolton.
Findings in the report demonstrate that every £1 of Bolton Council investment generates £43 in GVA and social impact for the local economy.
We reopened in summer 2021 after a £12 million redevelopment which saw the complete modernisation of the entire building with updated performance spaces, brand-new participation facilities, improved front-of-house experience and expanded backstage facilities.
As a result of the redevelopment the Octagon is estimated to generate an additional net £19.1 million of impact to Bolton over the next 25 years.
Funding from local government, Arts Council England as well as the unprecedented support from the Culture Recovery Fund has enabled us to reopen post-Covid-19.
Since May we have welcomed 1000s of visitors to the building, supported a brand new music festival for Bolton, toured an outdoor family theatre show to communities and launched a free family festival in the summer. Our reopening production of The Hound of the Baskervilles is currently on national tour, reaching 1000s more people across the country. Just a number of examples of our work in generating the impact that this report demonstrates.
The Octagon Theatre’s Chief Executive, Roddy Gauld commented: “The Octagon Theatre is Bolton and proud. We are extremely passionate about being an advocate and a positive contributor for the town and the local communities that we work with. In the wake of Covid, as we still see local businesses and people weathering the storm of the pandemic, we are determined to play a part in the town’s recovery.
“The results of this report demonstrates the vital role the Octagon contributes to Bolton, the local and national arts and economic landscape – generating investment in the town, bringing visitors to Bolton, supporting other vital organisations such as the NHS and enhancing the lives and wellbeing of the local community.
“We are delighted to share the results of the report – as a public funded charity we could not do the work we do without the incredible support from our funders and supporters, so we are thrilled to be able to share with them what their invaluable support and generosity is helping us to achieve.”
Bolton Council Leader, Cllr Martin Cox, said: “We’ve always known what a tremendous asset the Octagon Theatre is both to the cultural life of Bolton and the local economy.
“The results of this study confirm just how important the venue is to the community and to the reputation of Bolton as a great place to visit.
“The council is proud to support the Octagon Theatre, which has a vital role to play as we continue our regeneration work to create a more vibrant and prosperous town centre.”
Jen Cleary, Director North, Arts Council England, added: “It is great to see the Octagon reopened and entertaining audiences once again. The theatre is instrumental in providing a fantastic cultural offer for residents and visitors alike and we’re delighted to support it as a National Portfolio Organisation and through the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. I look forward to enjoying some performances in person soon.”