LITTLE Lever residents came out in force for the unveiling of a new sculpture on Tuesday night.

Children from six local primary schools helped to create the art project, known as ‘Little Lever Children Love Little Lever’, which will take pride of place in the village’s Memorial Gardens.

The six schools were: Mytham Primary, St Teresa’s RC Primary, Masefield Primary, Bowness Primary, St Matthew’ C of E Primary, and Ladywood School.

The sculpture was officially unveiled in a ceremony attended by pupils, staff, parents, and council dignitaries.

Children gave readings before the Mayor of Bolton Cllr Roger Hayes counted down to the cutting of the ribbons on the sculpture.

The project was started by the schools three years ago as a way of encouraging pupils to respect and care for their community in response to concerns about antisocial behaviour in the area.

Angela Bogle, headteacher at Mytham Primary School said: “We were talking to children about what makes a community and what makes a good citizen.

“We felt strongly as schools that our children are good citizens and we wanted to counterbalance the bad press young people get.”

12 children from the different schools began working on the art installation, which was part funded by the National Lottery's Awards for All and Bolton Council, with each school designing its own bird.

They worked with local artists to come up with the initial design and make elements of the sculpture, and gained the Arts Mark qualification as a result.

As part of the project, pupils also created a film with the help of a TV company in which they interviewed Little Lever residents about what makes their community special.

Mrs Bogle added: “Hopefully the children will go off to their high schools and take all that good work with them. It’s very much based on values and what a good young person needs to have for their future.

“We hope the young people in the community will look after the sculpture.”

The ceremony was followed by the switching on of the village’s Christmas lights by the Mayor, and Little Lever and Darcy Lever councillor Sean Hornby.