Bolton has been named as Greater Manchester’s Town of Culture for 2024.

This will see the borough handed £50,000 to support a year long programme of events.

The Town of Culture accolade is handed out every year to different borough’s across the region and celebrates Greater Manchester’s culture and heritage.

Leader of Bolton Council Cllr Nick Peel said: “I’m thrilled that we can announce Bolton as the Town of Culture for 2024.

“Not only do we have some remarkable cultural venues, but these are strengthened by our fantastic major events programme including Bolton Food and Drink Festival, IRONMAN, Bolton Film Festival and Put Big Light On.

The Bolton News: Bolton has been named Town of CultureBolton has been named Town of Culture (Image: Newsquest)

“Bolton certainly has a promising future and will be a great place to live, work, study, visit and invest.”

The grant, from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority culture fund, will help to develop a programme of cultural events and activities celebrating Bolton’s heritage.

Bolton’s programme will have three parts.

The first is a packed taster programme of cultural activities delivered in Bolton and its various districts.

Following on there’ll be a small grants programme designed to help support Bolton’s smaller cultural organisations, freelancers and artists.

This will result in programmes of activity and commissioning of new works with audiences throughout the next 12 months.

The grand finale will be the Bolton Gala next March, a celebratory event organised jointly by all cultural partners and co-designed by residents.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said: "It's fantastic that Bolton has been announced as the latest Greater Manchester Town of Culture.

"Bolton already has some outstanding cultural venues and events from the Octagon Theatre and the Bolton Albert Hall to the famous Bolton Food and Drink Festival and the Bolton Film Festival. 

“Town of Culture will celebrate these existing venues and events but will also shine a light on the smaller venues and events that are happening across the town.

"I look forward to visiting Bolton to join their cultural celebrations."

Bolton Council says it will be working with cultural organisations, creative practitioners’, and residents to strengthen partnerships to deliver a collective approach to creative programming.

They hope to build on assets such as the Octagon Theatre, the newly refurbished Bolton Central Library and Museum and Bolton Albert Halls.

Bolton’s also known as home to lots of creative people including Peter Kay, Sara Cox, Sophie Willan, Diane Morgan, Hylda Baker and Mark Radcliffe.

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Culture, Cllr Nadeem Ayub, said: “Receiving the honour of Town of Culture is a significant achievement for our town.

“Building on the recently launched Cultural Strategy, our bid focused on culture being the heartbeat of Bolton.

“Cutting through everything that we do, as we know culture characterises us as people, links us to place and connects us in community.”

Bolton Council says it aims for the Town of Culture 2024 will be to create the foundations for how cultural organisations and creative practitioners work together in the future.

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Chief Executive of Octagon Theatre, Roddy Gauld, said: “We’re delighted Bolton will be GM Town of Culture 2024 and we are so fortunate that Bolton has an incredibly rich culture of people who create a place that is full of life, comedy, character and colour.

“Culture has the power to bring people together, create meaning and inspire ideas and aspirations.

“The Octagon exists to do those things by telling stories, entertaining people, and creating opportunities for people to take part and express themselves.

“Through the Town of Culture we hope we can further raise awareness of the power of culture and celebrate Bolton’s rich cultural offering”