Bolton council logo

Developments

Introduction to Area

The Octagon is a thriving producing theatre positioned at the heart of Bolton town centre, attracting over 70,000 visitors a year. The theatre produces high quality productions of classic dramas, new writing and musicals every year alongside a successful Youth Theatre and community outreach programme. Built in the 1960s with passion and dedication, the building now needs to be improved to ensure it remains a welcoming, accessible place for audiences and artists for another 50 years to come. The Octagon plays a key role as Bolton’s leading arts organisation, offering residents, workers and visitors opportunities to engage with the cultural and community life of the borough. The Octagon’s world class theatre offering is helping to drive the town centre’s growing evening leisure and tourism offer.

Development Principles

To create a neighbourhood

Access – The building will be more accessible than ever before including much improved wheelchair access around the building and a changing places toilet.

Develop apartment blocks

Welcoming – Visitor experience and comfort will be improved through a new entrance and foyer, better temperature controls, new seating, more toilets and a new café/bar.

Utilise the River Croal

Community – There will be increased amount of space available for youth theatre and community groups throughout the building.

Excellence – The excellence of the Octagon’s work will be assured through new backstage areas, dressing rooms and a fully accessible rehearsal space.

Site vision

The Octagon Reimagined project will see the largest transformation of the building in its history and will improve customer experience, update backstage facilities, increase accessibility and enable the organisation to reach even more people with community work. This major redevelopment will allow the Octagon to be a world class artistic hub in Bolton town centre for many generations to come.

Working with us

‘One of the advantages Bolton has over other large towns and cities is how well connected the public, private and charitable sectors are. Partnership working and collaboration are over-used buzzwords, but they seem very natural here in Bolton. That lends itself well to building relationships and seeking out opportunities.’

Roddy Gauld,
Chief Executive, Octagon Theatre