Octagon founders look over new theatre site

Published: 2 March 2019

In 1967, five students alongside their drama lecturer, Robin Pemberton-Billing, laid plans for a new theatre in Bolton.

Taking only seven months, the theatre was officially opened on November 27, 1967 by Princess Margaret.

Two of the original co-founders, Gerry Russell and Dr Phillip Butterworth, were joined by leader of Bolton Council Linda Thomas and chief executive of the Octagon Theatre Roddy Gauld, to be given a tour of the site by lead architects.

Dr Butterworth said, “as you might imagine, this was a nostalgic and inspiring tour conducted by the architects and builders whose commitment and enthusiasm for the project is obvious.”

The new town centre building is set to reopen in 2020 and the Octagon still has £600,000 to raise to complete the work.

David Upton