Opportunity for Young People in Bolton to produce an event with the Octagon Theatre

Opportunity for Young People in Bolton to produce an event with the Octagon Theatre

Funding delivered by Co-op Foundation through Building Connections Fund Youth strand.

The Octagon Theatre are inviting young people in Bolton aged 11-25 to present ideas for a takeover day in the Market Place Shopping Centre.

The Octagon Theatre currently deliver a successful youth theatre programme from their space in Market Place Shopping Centre. After being awarded £9,800 funding from the Building Connections Fund Youth Strand, this unique programme aims to get more young people watching productions and accessing participation activity at the Octagon.

The charity which runs a Café, Box Office and Participation Space from the Market Place Shopping Centre while it’s town centre building is under redevelopment, will work with young people to share ideas, help build connections, create an event and help make the work the theatre creates on the stage more accessible for young people.

The project running throughout February and March will culminate in a Young People’s takeover day in the Octagon’s space at the Market Place. The Octagon are inviting participants to pitch their ideas for bold and exciting events that will engage Young People in Bolton.

A project manager and budget will be allocated to the winning idea and will be produced with Octagon Theatre resources as an event in the space at the Market Place on Saturday 23rd March 2019.

Any young people who want to be involved in designing improvements to what the Octagon offer for Young People are encouraged to attend an Ideas Cafe at the Market Place on Wednesday 13th February, from 6.30-8.30pm.

The Ideas Café will be a chance for young people to share and develop ideas for an event at the takeover day with the Octagon team and feed into ideas about how the Octagon can reach new people. It will be a friendly and relaxed evening with free pizza and soft drinks provided.

The takeover day will be designed around themes of identity linked with the Octagon’s upcoming production of The Importance of Being Earnest. 6 Schools in Bolton will receive free workshops delivered by Octagon Theatre participation practitioners and subsidised tickets will be available to young people who participate in any part of the project.

Funding is being delivered by the Co-op Foundation as part of the Building Connections Fund Youth strand, a partnership with government. The Octagon Theatre is one of 145 projects that has received funded through this strand.

Vicki Brown Head of Creative Engagement at the Octagon Theatre, said:

“This funding from the Co-Op Foundation Building Connections Fund is an exciting opportunity for us to pilot new ways of working with young people at the Octagon. We want to empower young people to co-create activity with us and design services that meet their needs. We know that loneliness is something that can affect all young people and we are passionate that theatre can bring people together, create new friendships and build a sense of belonging. We want young people feel ownership over the Octagon and to fill our spaces with creative activity that they want to see in their town.”

Jim Cooke, Head of the Co-op Foundation, said:

“Spaces where young people can come together to enjoy shared interests are important for building connections and tackling youth loneliness. By involving young people in improving local spaces, we’re helping to increase their confidence and skills, while also building stronger, co-operative communities. We look forward to seeing the impact this funding has tackling youth loneliness across England.”

The Building Connections Fund is a partnership between government, Co-op Foundation the Big Lottery Fund to tackle loneliness and improve community connections. Co-op Foundation is delivering grants for all projects supported through the youth-specific strand.

This builds on funding awarded to more than 120 projects in December that included befriending services, community arts groups and support schemes.

For more information about the project and how to get involved visit octagonbolton.co.uk, email participation@octagonbolton.co.uk or call 01204 556501.

Image by Bolton Documentary Photography