As resident orchestra, local audiences will have access to more symphonic performances from our Orchestra and world-leading conductors and soloists, alongside a greater number of family-friendly ‘BSO On Your Doorstep’ chamber-scale concerts, workshops and events. There’ll be a regular concert series at the venue from the Orchestra, as well as an exciting education and outreach programme.

The Octagon Theatre development will see the 622-seat theatre increase to 900 seats with vastly improved acoustics in the main auditorium and additional performance and participatory spaces. The venue, which is owned and managed by South Somerset District Council (SSDC), is also planning to develop an exciting new arts engagement outreach programme that will create more opportunities for people to engage and benefit from the creative arts through schools, performances, workshops, regular classes and special projects that will focus on those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Councillor Mike Best, Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing for SSDC and Chairman of Somerset Council, said: “For too long our residents have had to travel outside of Somerset to experience the type of performances and projects that this partnership will bring. Our ambitious and forward thinking plans to develop The Octagon Theatre into a flagship regional centre of excellence for the arts is already proving to be a catalyst for change with South Somerset designated a “Priority Place for Arts Council England. None of this would be happening without our commitment to The Octagon and I am thrilled to see this partnership develop, which I hope will be the first of many for the developed Octagon Theatre, and hope that it will continue over many years to come.”

Dougie Scarfe, the Orchestra’s Chief Executive said: “We’re thrilled that our partners at the Octagon Theatre and South Somerset District Council share our passion for the empowering impact of live music. We’re looking forward to deepening our relationship with communities in Somerset, with even more live concerts from the full Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, plus family-friendly ‘BSO On Your Doorstep’ chamber-scale concerts, workshops and events. Bringing music into people’s lives is why we exist, and we remain committed to reaching people who need our music, now more than ever.”

Octagon Theatre Manager, Adam Burgan said: “I am absolutely delighted that we can announce this partnership with the amazing Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. As one of UK’s best loved orchestras it will be fantastic to make the developed Octagon Theatre their new home in Somerset. Everyone deserves the opportunity to listen, watch and be inspired by music.  This residency with BSO will enable us to bring world-class artists to Somerset for regular performances throughout the year that will engage and delight our audiences, whilst work with BSO’s amazing Participate team will create more opportunities for our communities to have access to and be enriched by BSO’s talented musicians. I look forward to developing and delivering activity with BSO over the coming years and to see the direct benefits from this partnership.”

To read the full press release click here