Greater Manchester town 'full of life, comedy, character and colour' wins regional culture award

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Bolton has been named Greater Manchester’s town of culture for 2024. The award will bring £50,000 to support a year-long programme of new events.

Bolton Council said the town of culture accolade put the the spotlight on ‘remarkable arts, culture and heritage that exists across greater Manchester’. 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.

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Bolton’s programme will have three parts. The first is a taster programme of cultural activities delivered in Bolton and its districts.

There will be a small grants programme designed to help build capacity, resources and experience into Bolton’s smaller cultural organisations, freelancers and artists. The grand finale will be the Bolton Gala next March, a celebratory event organised jointly by the council’s cultural partners and co-designed by residents.

Bolton Town Hall Bolton Town Hall
Bolton Town Hall

Leader of Bolton council, 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.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said“Bolton certainly has a promising future and will be a great place to live, work, study, visit and invest. It’s fantastic that Bolton has been announced as the latest Greater Manchester town of culture.

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“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.”

Chief executive of Octagon Theatre, Roddy Gauld, said: “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”