'Outside The Box' Project

York BID and partners are proud to present 'Outside the Box', a creative project aimed at transforming often-overlooked exchange boxes into vibrant works of art.







looking to work with a local artist to repaint ten BT exchange boxes on The Stonebow, York. The aim of the project is to transform these often-overlooked boxes into eye-catching works of art, inspired by the city’s impressive and internationally significant stained-glass archives.



This project is part of York BID’s ambition to enliven the city centre by bringing art into public spaces. Other projects include the York Mural Trail, the York Nutcracker Trail, the Giant Deckchair Competition, and Guardians of York. For more information, please visit the York BID website.

The primary aims of this project are to:

  • Enhance visitor experience and improve the appearance of York’s shopping streets
  • Attract visitors and encourage movement around the city by creating new destination points
  • Promote York as a top cultural destination, telling stories that reflect York’s unique history and identity through art.

The BT exchange boxes have become the target of graffiti and fly postering in recent years. This creative intervention will discourage vandalism and transform the look and feel of the street.



This project is being funded through the National Archives Engagement Grant. The BID is delighted to be partnering with York Explore Library & Archives and York Civic Trust on this project, to bring the city’s expansive stained-glass archives to life through public art.

This project brings new meaning to these archives by putting them within the context of place, telling stories of stained-glass in a way that is eye-catching, captivating, and importantly, free and open to all. By utilising street furniture as a canvas, the project creates unexpected encounters with York’s archives and high-quality art.

The designs should be eye-catching, sparking curiosity and conversation. Each box should have its own identity but maintain a strong sense of thematic and stylistic coherence across the series.

The appointed artist will be offered a workshop with the project team to learn more about the archive collection and the history of stained glass in the city.