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Greater Manchester town with ‘remarkable arts, culture and heritage’ wins huge accolade

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

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

The award, worth £50,000, will support a year-long programme of new events.

Greater Manchester’s Town of Culture 2024

Greater Manchester’s Town of Culture

Bolton Council said the town of culture accolade put 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.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority Culture Fund

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 in 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 Council leader Nick Peel

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.

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

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham

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.”

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”

Bury was Greater Manchester’s inaugural Town of Culture in 2020 and held the title during 2021 throughout the COVID 19 pandemic.

The town curated and delivered a hybrid programme of live and virtual events, including the Happy Festival and the two-week Burrs Live Festival.

You can find out more about Greater Manchester’s Town of Culture by clicking here

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