What is Percent for Art?

Our Percent for Art Team are based in our Community Engagement Team and work across all areas of Bolton. Members of the team work with residents, community groups, partners and other community stakeholders to develop socially engaged arts projects that help to improve our communities and benefit customers.

We commission appropriate artists or arts organisations, to work with the local community, and we manage the project from start to finish. The Percent for Art service actively encourages individuals and community groups to get involved in schemes that can offer creative solutions to neighbourhood issues.

Ideas for arts projects can come from our neighbourhood teams and they will focus on specific neighbourhood priorities or be developed through conversations with community groups, partner organisations or other community stakeholders.  Sometimes local arts projects are developed through wider Greater Manchester, regional or national networks or funding.

Our service also offers advice and guidance to our partners with regard to developing arts projects involving other social housing customers across Bolton.  We have also been commissioned by partners to project manage a number of community arts and public / environmental art projects in Bolton.

Projects can be in any medium including visual arts, performance, music, crafts, digital art and film. They can take the form of arts based consultation, skills and confidence building projects, arts in health and wellbeing work, festivals and celebratory arts, as well as streetscaping and environmental arts projects designed to enhance the physical environment.

Percent for Art Projects

  1. Bolton at Home Octagon Theatre Membership Scheme

    Bolton at Home is working in partnership with the Octagon Theatre Bolton to offer discounted tickets for Octagon productions to our tenants as well as members of community groups that are supported by Bolton at Home.

  2. 2023 Giving Little Lever tenants a blooming good view

    As part of our Lever Gardens Court new build development in Little Lever our colleagues consulted with existing residents living around the Lever Gardens Court construction site who wanted something to improve the view of the construction site protective fence around their homes.

  3. 2022 Creatives Now

    Creatives Now is an arts collective for social change led by young people

    Creatives Now is an arts collective for social change led by young people from secondary schools and colleges across Bolton. The project is managed by Bolton Cultural Education Partnership representatives from Bolton at Home (Percent for Art) and Bolton School (Director of Creative Learning & Partnerships).

  4. 2021 Mini Movie Moments

    Mini Movie Moments projections

    In January 2021 Bolton at Home commissioned video artists Illuminos to develop and deliver a Covid-safe proposal for a spectacular temporary artwork that engaged our residents on their own doorsteps.

  5. 2020 GM Creative Care Kit for Older People

    Bolton at Home Percent for Art and volunteers from the Ambition for Ageing Culture Champions (Bolton) project have been involved in developing a Creative Care Kit for older people in Greater Manchester. 


  6. 2019-2020 Ambition for Ageing Culture Champions

    Ambition for Ageing Culture Champions

    In 2019 the GM Ambition for Ageing Programme sought bids from partner organisations to develop the Culture Champions programme in areas across Greater Manchester.  Bolton at Home was one of the successful bidders.

  7. 2019 Arts & Health Informal Exchange

    Funded through Live Well Make Art and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) Great Places the Informal Exchange project is one of four GM projects bringing together arts and health professionals to discuss development opportunities in the Arts, Health and Wellbeing sector.

  8. 2018 The Travelling Happiness Bar

    The Travelling Happiness Bar

    The Travelling Happiness Bar (THB) was developed from an ‘Engaging Libraries’ funded partnership project between Bolton at Home, Bolton Library and Museum Service and Breakdown Bolton. It was launched at Breightmet Library during Mental Health Awareness Week 2018.

  9. 2018 Bolton Light Festival

    2018 Bolton Light Festival

    Communities across Bolton helped make the town shine when the inaugural Bolton Light Festival began in October 2018.

  10. 2017 Natural Connections

    2017 Natural Connections

    In 2017 Bolton Library & Museum Service commissioned Bolton at Home Percent for Art to work with Library and Museum staff to deliver the ‘Natural Connections’ project, funded through the University of Leicester’s ‘Encountering the Unexpected’ research programme.

  11. 2016 1000 Homes

    2016 1000 Homes

    Hannah Hull was commissioned by Bolton at Home and supported by Arts Council England to undertake a long term residency on the Johnson Fold estate, focused on locating and articulating the creative and cultural values already present in the community.

  12. 2015 Teenagers transform crime hotspot with "Banksy of Bolton"

    Subway art project

    A once tired-looking subway in Bolton has been given a bright and colourful makeover by students from Little Lever School, as part of a national campaign to use creativity to help tackle crime.

  13. 2015 Manchester Day Parade

    2015 Manchester Day Parade

    Every year since 2014 community groups supported by Bolton at Home have collaborated on Manchester Day Parade.


  14. 2014 The Living Mural Project

    Bolton at Home commissioned artist Adrian Barber, of Bigger Picture Arts, to work with asylum seekers and refugees from BRASS, a charity in Bolton who are ‘Befriending Refugees and Asylum Seekers’.  Together they designed, painted and projected a 'living mural' into their activity space.

  15. 2014 Social Housing Arts Network

    2014 Social Housing Arts Network

    This 18 month partnership project was led by Manchester based artist collective Guild, with £89,000 from the Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund and contributions from the four project partners: Bolton at Home, Poplar HARCA, South Yorkshire Housing Association and St Leger Homes.

    Read more and watch the video here.

  16. 2014 Johnson Fold World Cup Photography Project

    This project began in 2006 when local photographer Adrian Barber took it upon himself to document the Johnson Fold estate during the World Cup of that year.  Impressed with the resulting images, Bolton at Home commissioned Adrian to revisit the project in 2010, and again in 2014 under the title ‘Four Years On – A Community and Their World Cup’.

  17. 2014 Big Digital Project

    The Big Digital Project was funded by Arts Council England & AGMA as part of a three year initiative to increase arts participation in areas of low engagement.

  18. 2013 Smart materials

    The project explored the creative application of smart materials with local arts & crafts practitioners and communities.  Smart materials technology was incorporated into artwork by artists commissioned to work with local groups.

  19. 2013 Octagon Theatre Partnership

    2013 Octagon Theatre Partnership

    Percent for Art has worked collaboratively with the Octagon Theatre and Activ8 since 1998.  In 2013 the two organisations formalised their partnership, and developed a programme of activities aimed at reaching communities not currently engaged, focusing on the following themes:

  20. 2013 If these walls could talk

    2013 If these walls could talk

    ‘If these walls could talk …’ is a community development project with social justice and collective action at its core.  In 2011, Bolton at Home's Neighbourhood Management East Team established three weekly women’s groups across Breightmet to address a lack of supportive spaces and networks for women.

  21. 2012 Meccano Bridge

    Construction of a giant Meccano footbridge over the canal at Nob End, Little Lever began in December 2012, followed by two Meccano picnic benches.  

  22. 2012 Create on the Estate

    2012 Create on the Estate

    Funded by Bolton at Home, this project has grown out of an earlier pilot project called Shakespeare on the street. Children, young people and adults have been offered opportunities to take part in performing arts and take to the stage in local venues and at the Octagon Theatre.

  23. 2011 Mr One Million

    2011 Mr One Million

    In September 2011 we recruited film makers Paul Hine and Mark Haig and writer Louise Wallwein to develop and deliver a proposal to work with young unemployed me in the Breightmet area of Bolton.

  24. 2010 Knit and natter

    A creative project was set up in October 2010 to engage women in Breightmet, particularly older women and younger women with children.

  25. 2009 Breightmet Photographer in Residence

    2009 Breightmet Photographer in Residence

    In November 2009 Neighbourhood Management Team and Percent for Art Bolton East commissioned a six months Photographer in Residence project, to explore and challenge the way in which Breightmet was seen from both within and outside the neighbourhood.

  26. 2008 Door to Door

    2008 Door to Door

    Housing Percent for Art commissioned artists Matt and Rob Vale to research and deliver a proposal for an exciting and innovative large scale art project that would engage our communities and capture the imagination.


  27. 2007 Oak Avenue Acorn Project

    2007 Oak Avenue Acorn Project

    A project involving residents of Brazley and Claypool Residents Association in Horwich in partnership with Bolton at Home’s Housing Percent for Art, Technical Services and Customer Involvement Teams.

  28. 2006 Farnworth Arts Festival

    2006 Farnworth Arts Festival

    A programme of events that took place in the area over June and July. It involved a range of schools and local arts groups.

  29. 2005 Eldon Street

    2005 Eldon Street

    A project initiated by Eldon Street Residents Association, Tonge Moor. Local residents took part in an arts based consultation with artist Penny Butterworth to identify and address issues concerning the appearance of the area.

  30. 2005 Boardman Street Library of Unwritten Books

    2005 Boardman Street Library of Unwritten Books

    Housing Percent for Art worked with Blackburn Road Neighbourhood Panel and residents of the Boardman Street area to develop an arts project that would bring the community together.

  31. 2004 Oldhams Home Zone

    2004 Oldhams Home Zone

    Following a successful Home Zone bid, Oldhams Residents Association, Astley Bridge, sought Housing Percent for Art and Global Grants funding for an intensive process of community consultation.

  32. 2003 Sunnyside Park

    2003 Sunnyside Park

    Residents used an arts based consultation process to inform plans for the park and to promote wider knowledge and involvement in the project by all sections of the local community.

  33. 2003 Dunbar Drive Living Room

    2003 Dunbar Drive Living Room

    An area of land was transformed into an innovative play area for a new (Portico Housing Association) housing development in Great Lever.

  34. 2003 Behind Closed Doors

    2003 Behind Closed Doors

    A collaborative piece of work between Housing Percent for Art and Barnados Phoenix Project

  35. 2002 Radio Oldhams

    2002 Radio Oldhams

    Local Charity DBBC and production staff from the BBC trained 10 people from Oldhams Estate in the skills and expertise to run their own radio broadcast.

  36. 2001 Hargreaves House

    2001 Hargreaves House

    Residents initiated a process of artist led feasibility and consultation to explore ways of improving their communal garden area. This has resulted in the design of new oak decking, decorative mosaic paving, stone and timber seating and new planting to provide a usable space for residents all year round.

  37. 2001 Creative Solutions

    2001 Creative Solutions

    This national two-day conference explored the use of the arts in regeneration.

  38. 2000 Freedom in Dance

    2000 Freedom in Dance

    This medium term dance project took place in three homes for the elderly.

  39. 1999 Breightmet Arts

    1999 Breightmet Arts

    Breightmet Arts was a three-year funded project (1999 - 2002) that aimed to support sustainable regeneration in the Breightmet area.  Work ranged from consultation, participatory, celebratory, performance to public art and physical regeneration. The project was the focus of a longitudinal impact assessment that examined the effect of the activity there.

  40. 1998 Sticks and Stones

    A summer residency working with young people through Bully Free Zone, to create a drama performance exploring the issues of bullying and oppression. The play toured local schools and community centres.

  41. 1997 Housing Percent for Art is born

    1997 Housing Percent for Art is born

    If there was a defining moment for the planting of the seed it has to be when Gerry Fitzhenry, the then Bolton City Challenge Manager, showed George Caswell, then Director of Housing (Bolton MBC), what could be achieved with participatory arts work.

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