The Octagon Theatre building work commences

The Octagon Theatre building work commences

The Octagon’s capital project which has been in plans for over two years, will now move into the next stage of the crucial redevelopment as building works begin for a new Octagon to open early 2020.

The building on Howell Croft South closes from Tue 26 June when Octagon staff will relocate to temporary offices and open up a new Box Office and café in Bolton town centre at the Market Place Shopping Centre.

Tickets will be available to purchase as usual online and over the phone as well as in person from the Octagon at their temporary home in the Market Place, located on the upper floor of the building next to Debenhams.

Café eight will also be joining the box office at the Market Place and will continue serving the usual menu of breakfasts, salads, jackets and sandwiches as well as the popular Octagon Afternoon Tea showcasing a selection of speciality tea and homemade cakes.

The theatre’s drama groups including Art Beat, Headspace, the Youth Theatre and Bridges Company will all also be relocating to the Market Place as part of the Octagon’s commitment to continuing to engage with Bolton communities.

The final performance of Summer Holiday on Sat 23 June marked the finale for the Octagon building as it stands. The forthcoming Out and About season sees more off-site productions taken to iconic Bolton locations including Queens Park, the Macron Stadium and the Albert Halls.

The project is funded thanks to Bolton Council, Arts Council England, grants from supporters, trusts, foundations and the ongoing public fundraising campaign Octagon Reimagined. The works which were originally scheduled to take place earlier were delayed due to issues moving telecommunications lines around the existing building.

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Linda Thomas, GMCA lead for culture, arts and leisure, said: “The Octagon Theatre is an integral and much loved part of Bolton’s cultural landscape, which must be protected for future generations.

“This project is vital to ensuring its future and this funding means the theatre can continue to inspire and make the arts available to communities throughout our borough. Its work must be allowed to continue to permeate to all areas of the town and continue its inclusive approach.

“Creating a more vibrant town centre that people want to visit, spend time in and access a variety of leisure pursuits is a key aim of the Town Centre Masterplan and the Octagon redevelopment project will play a vital role in achieving this.

“This major redevelopment will allow the Octagon to be a world class artistic hub in Bolton town centre for many years to come.”

Chief Executive Roddy Gauld “It’s both very sad and extremely exciting.  We’re closing a chapter on the Octagon building and our 50th anniversary season.  However we’re gearing up for a season of site specific work that will take the theatre out into our town.  Most excitingly, once the redevelopment is completed, the Octagon will be fit for the future and will allow us to do even more work on stage, with young people and community groups.

“We’re very grateful to the Market Place for offering us a temporary home for our box office, café and creative engagement work, and look forward to welcoming customers there soon.”

Nikki Wilson-Cook, Centre Manager at Market Place says; “We’re thrilled to welcome The Octagon Theatre to the Market Place. The opening of their box office in the centre should make it much more convenient for customers to book and collect their theatre tickets as part of their usual shopping, dining and leisure experience.”

The project is the biggest redevelopment in the theatres 50 year history and will ensure that the Octagon will be open and accessible for artists and audiences for generations to come. For more information about fundraising for the Octagon visit octagonbolton.co.uk/about-us/octagon-reimagined/

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For interview and other press requests please contact Rachael Norris on rachael.norris@octagonbolton.co.uk or by calling 01204 556505