ARTISTIC students at the University of Bolton have put their stamp on the town centre — by decorating a building site with their self-portraits.

As part of a joint scheme by the university and Transport for Greater Manchester (TGfM), hoardings by the site of the new Bolton Interchange have been decorated by the artwork created by Fine Art and Textile Design students.

Each of the 36 undergraduates were asked to design a life-sized self-portrait reflecting their own personal link with Bolton in a bid to make Newport Street, Great Moor Street and Johnson Road more pleasant while building work is taking place.

Alan Buckingham, senior lecturer in fine art, said the students were thrilled to take part.

He added: “Projects in other city centres have involved artists using the hoardings put up around building sites. Artwork on the boards helps to make the spaces much more engaging and bearable for the public who have to see the hoardings every day.”

TFGM is currently building the new £48 million Bolton Interchange on the land, which is set to be opened in 2015.

Cllr Andrew Fender, chairman of TFGM committee, said he was very impressed with the students’ designs.

He added: “I am sure that their talents will draw attention to this fantastic project that will provide better links between bus and rail services, as well as improved waiting areas, passenger facilities, accessibility, information, and safety and security.”

Leader of Bolton Council Cllr Cliff Morris said he has already received good feedback from nearby businesses.

He added: “The artwork brightens up the area and it means that when you’re driving or walking along Newport Street, you’re not just faced with a construction site.

“The interchange will provide an up-to-date transport facility for commuters and it is a key part of our town centre strategy.”