The Octagon Theatre have announced that they have been awarded £54,768 from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, to help support the venue’s invaluable Creative Engagement department.
One of the first UK theatre’s to have an Engagement department, the Octagon’s inclusive and ongoing work with the local community is a lifeline for many people, reaching 13,000 participants every year through its Youth Theatre, Women’s Group, Bridges, ArtBeat and ReAct programmes and more.
Since the Covid pandemic broke earlier this year, the venue have continued to deliver its extensive and thriving Creative Engagement programme; supporting their most vulnerable participants and the local community through various on-line projects, phone calls and delivering Creative Care Kits to homes.
With the pandemic causing a delay to the building re-opening which has resulted in a significant loss of income to the venue, the grant from the National Lottery Community Fund will ensure that the Creative Engagement team can continue to deliver its work with the community over the coming months.
Octagon’s Head of Creative Engagement, Victoria Brown said: “We are extremely thankful to the National Lottery Community Fund for recognising the crucial work we do with Bolton’s communities, and their support with this grant will ensure we can continue to collaborate with participants and partners to deliver our high quality creative programmes and projects to our community.
“For over 50 years the Octagon has provided a creative outlet and safe haven for our ever growing number of participants. With Covid and lockdown restrictions causing an increase of loneliness, isolation and affecting people’s mental health and wellbeing, keeping connected with our community is even more essential, now more than ever, and this grant will allow us to do just that.”
2020 has been the most challenging year in the Octagon’s history and it is thanks to support from funders and supporters that the theatre has survived. To help safeguard the important work of the Octagon on and off stage, the theatre asks for people to consider joining as a Member or Patron. To find out more visit octagonbolton.co.uk/support
For more information about the ways to get involved and take part at the Octagon visit octagonbolton.co.uk/get-involved