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Feilden Clegg Bradley wins £10m Bolton theatre revamp

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Stirling Prize-winning practice Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) has been announced as architect on a £10 million redevelopment of Bolton’s Octagon Theatre

The refurbishment, which marks the theatre’s 50th anniversary, will modernise and enlarge the building.

It is also intended to ‘safeguard the Octagon for future generations’ by making it more sustainable and financially efficient. 

Lead architect on the project Ernst ter Horst described the project as ’transformational’ for Bolton.

’We have been captivated by the passion of the Octagon’s creative team, who lead unique theatre performances and have established a positive social and cultural role within the local area,’ he added.

’There is a real potential to redefine the Octagon’s expression, build on and improve the experiences within, while expanding and modernising the compromised support facilities. We very much look forward to contributing to the next step in the flourishing regeneration of Bolton centre with our local team.’

Willmott Dixon has been announced as contractor for the redevelopment, while Gardiner & Theobald will be project manager.

Octagon Theatre chief executive Roddy Gauld said: ‘Selecting the right architects is crucial to the Octagon’s redevelopment. We have a very distinctive building with an unusual geometry and essential artistic qualities. We’re also surrounded by some of Bolton’s most beautiful buildings.  

‘It’s important that we’re respectful to the existing architecture whilst creating an inspiring contemporary look that can be a beacon in Bolton town centre’s continuing regeneration.’ 

It is expected that plans will be submitted in summer 2017. If approved, the Octagon will close from mid-2018 while the work takes place, and re-open in late 2019.

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