What is Percent for Art?

Our Percent for Art team comprises four arts officers located in our neighbourhoods.  Our arts officers work with others to develop arts projects that help to improve our communities and benefit customers. We contract appropriate artists or arts organisations, and manage the project from start to finish.  The service actively encourages individuals and community groups to get involved in schemes that 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 public art / 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 including; skills and confidence building projects, arts in health & wellbeing work, celebratory arts project, as well as streetscaping and environmental arts projects designed to enhance the physical environment.

21 years of Percent for Art

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 2000 Freedom in Dance

    2000 Freedom in Dance

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

  5. 2001 Creative Solutions

    2001 Creative Solutions

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 2003 Behind Closed Doors

    2003 Behind Closed Doors

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.


  17. 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.  Photographer Les Monaghan spent two days a week in and around the Breightmet community, engaging with local residents and capturing images that reflected life, work and play in the neighbourhood.

  18. 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.

  19. 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 at venues local to where they live, and also at the Octagon Theatre in Bolton’s town centre. Sessions included games, performing, singing, dancing, creative writing and stage management. There were also several trips to see live performances in a theatre setting.

  20. 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:

  21. 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.

  22. 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.


Total results: 22

Percent for Art projects

  1. Teenagers transform crime hotspot with

    Teenagers transform crime hotspot with "Banksy of Bolton"

    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.

  2. If these walls could talk

    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, the Neighbourhood Management East Team established three weekly women’s groups across Breightmet to address a lack of supportive spaces and networks for women. 

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.  

  6. 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.

  7. Ultimate Holding Company R&D Project

    Ultimate Holding Company (UHC) – a Manchester based creative collective, has been working in partnership with Bolton at Home to conduct a research and development pilot exploring how artists can most effectively work with staff and residents of social housing and the impact outreach art projects can have on the community. 

Total results: 7

Get in touch with our Percent for Arts team

Email Rodney Adams or call 01204 329562

Email Gaynor Cox or call 01204 329706

Email Shonagh Ingram or call 01204 329571

Email Vanessa McDermott or call 01204 327876

Email Michelle Sheree or call 01204 329796

In your words

“Group work has helped me and my son communicate – we can now talk instead of shouting at one another all the time. He is now a happy and settled young man, who feels more secure in himself and expresses confidence around others.”

Participant. Unearthing.

In your words

 “Getting me out of the house and meeting new people; everybody made me feel so welcome and I hope that it carries on to give me a sense of purpose.”

Participant, Mr One Million

In your words

“The professionals are really talented, and working with them taught us how to become better actors and helped our confidence.”

Declan McClusky, aged 10. Shakespeare on the Street

In your words

“We really enjoyed performing on stage and making new friends. I know
I want to be an actress when I’m older.”

Megan Hayes, aged 11. Shakespeare on the Street

In your words

"I started to look forward to my Wednesdays. I got to know so many new people and felt rewarded, positive and productive after each session."

Participant, Mr One Million

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