THEATRE bosses have vowed to reopen after coronavirus crippled the performance industry.

The Octagon Theatre should have been ready to welcome visitors to its newly-refurbished building last week, but delays caused by the Covid-19 outbreak mean that work is still ongoing.

Following last week’s announcement that theatres can prepare to open from August 1, the Octagon has confirmed they’re doing all they can to reopen safely – but they won’t be welcoming audiences back as soon as next week.

Roddy Gauld, CEO, and Lotte Wakeham, artistic director at the theatre, vowed to return to the town centre in a joint statement.

They said: “The Octagon brings in over £6million income to the Bolton economy every year and we are working hard to ensure that we can be central to the recovery of Bolton’s town centre post-Covid-19.

“We are doing everything we can to open the Octagon safely and successfully, and we cannot wait until the day we can open our doors and let people in.

“It is clear that social distancing will have a profound effect on how we make shows and how the theatre operates. This includes a significant reduction in audience capacity and income.

“We are reviewing every aspect of our organisation to find a way forward that is artistically exciting, inclusive of our whole community and financially sustainable.

“This is not easy and we have difficult decisions to make, but we are determined that we will be back.”

As theatres across the country wait to find out whether they will be able to host indoor performances from next Saturday, The Octagon continues to ask for patience and support.

A new reopening date for the town centre building following the £12million redevelopment is set to be announced shortly.

The theatre has also thanked everyone who has donated to the Future Fund campaign, which has seen over £46,000 donated to keep the site running.

Donations include £5,000 from the Oglesby Charitable Trust, an invitation-only fund which has previously helped the Lowry Theatre, Bury Metropolitan Arts Association and Manchester Cathedral.

Phone donations from the Octagon audience raised £3,508 back in May, with further personal donations ranging from £5 to £10,000.

The fund will be open for donations until 10pm on Friday, July 31.

Visit for more information and to donate to the theatre.