Bolton's Octagon Theatre has been awarded a portion of the government's Culture Recovery Fund to help deal with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
The theatre will receive £620,232 of the £1.57 billion pot and is one of two places in Greater Manchester to be allocated funding - along with the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.
The Octagon has described the funding as a 'lifeline', which will support the theatre’s immediate survival through the most challenging year in its history.
Due to the money, the new reconstructed theatre will finally be able to open its doors next year.
Chief executive, Roddy Gaul, said: "I’m absolutely relieved and delighted that we’ve been awarded this lifeline.
"2020 was due to be our big moment as we reopened after two years of reconstruction. Instead, due to the pandemic, we’ve lost most of our income this year. This grant means we have the financial stability we need to open the doors in early 2021.
"Our opening is now slightly delayed due to some of the new restrictions that are in place and so this funding is now even more welcome.
"We really appreciate this vital Government support. With investment from Bolton Council and the Arts Council, we’ve built a world class new theatre that we’re so excited to open.
"Research shows that for every £1 spent at the theatre, £3 is spent in the surrounding economy. Bolton has had the toughest restrictions in the country and the town has been hit hard. So our re-opening will be an important step in Bolton’s recovery.
"Now that our short-term future is secure until April, we can think more about what the future holds. I think social distancing is here for some time to come and it creates a huge financial gap as well as a physical one.
"When we open, we’ll need to leave most seats empty and each empty seat is a financial loss. But with this news today, and with the ongoing commitment of all our audiences and supporters, we’ll fight on."
As well as supporting the theatre through its reopening, the funding will help cover some of the financial losses due to Covid-19 and will allow the theatre to plan future productions, continue its work with the local community and provide opportunities for local theatre makers.
Artistic director, Lotte Wakeham added: "This is hugely welcome news, as it has been a very difficult year, with Bolton being particularly badly hit by the pandemic.
"The Octagon is the cultural heart of the town and we want our fantastic new theatre to be here for years to come, to entertain and inspire our local community. We’re really grateful to everyone who has supported us so far. We can’t wait to get back to putting on shows, bringing people together and sharing the talents of amazing local, national and international artists in our beautiful building.
"We have some really exciting plans in development and we look forward to announcing these soon, and hope to safely welcome everyone into the Octagon in the New Year."
Millions more pounds worth of funding is due to be announced by the government in coming weeks, on applicants who applied for over £1 million in the second round of the Grants programme, as well as recipients of the £270 million Repayable Finance programme.
Leader of Bolton Council, and Greater Manchester Combined Authority lead for culture, Coun David Greenhalgh, said: "Our famous Octagon Theatre is something everyone in Bolton can be extremely proud of, attracting some of the biggest names to the stage and bringing in visitors into the town centre.
"The Octagon is respected across the sector with an international reputation, and as a council, we were keen to support and invest in its recent renovation and I am delighted and relieved this financial help from the Government will help the theatre deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
"I look forward to the reopening and to a time when Bolton residents will enjoy these spectacular new facilities."
To support the Octagon visit the theatre's website.