Happy Valley and Gentleman Jack creator Sally Wainwright helps choose winners of Halifax hotel's 60th birthday art contest including under-18s winner who is only nine

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A talented nine-year-old is among with winners of a Halifax hotel’s 60th anniversary art contest.

Happy Valley and Gentleman Jack creator Sally Wainwright was among the judges of the competition launched by Holdsworth House Hotel in Holmfield to celebrate the milestone.

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Professional and amateur artists of all ages and abilities were invited to submit a representation of the front façade of the beautiful hotel.

Sally Wainwright with winner of the Under-18s category Chloe MarshSally Wainwright with winner of the Under-18s category Chloe Marsh
Sally Wainwright with winner of the Under-18s category Chloe Marsh

Over 500 entries were received from two age-group categories – under 18s and and over-18s - with entries from across the UK as well as Australia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Ukraine, Romania and Scandinavia.

Hotel director Nick Moss, who came up with the idea for the contest, said: “We thought we would be lucky to get 60 entries but we were blown away with the number we received.”

The judges were BAFTA-winning writer and director Sally Wainwright, national award-winning and Halifax-based watercolour artist Paul Dene Marlor, London-based commercial and live illustrator Jo Bird, and Holdsworth House-owner Gail Moss,

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Sally, whose dramas Last Tango in Halifax and Happy Valley have filmed at Holdsworth House Hotel, said: “The competition has been brilliant. We were genuinely overwhelmed by the quality of the work and the volume of it.

"We had a fantastic day going through the entries and I was particularly interested in the storytelling in each submission.

"For the under-18 category, it was compelling that the winner was aged only nine and what I enjoyed about her work hugely was that it was incredibly detailed and ambitious.”

Gail said: “Sally Wainwright has done so much to champion Halifax and Calderdale and, through the filming of Last Tango in Halifax, Happy Valley and Gentleman Jack, has become a friend of the hotel.

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"We are so grateful for her support and are excited for her next BBC series that will be filmed in the area, which is sure to be a be another blockbuster.

"To have artists like Paul Marlor and Jo Bird on board to scrutinise artists’ technical ability was such an eye-opener. But even then, choosing a shortlist of 20 was so difficult because the standard was so high!”

The winner of the under-18s category was Chloe Marsh, aged nine and from Luton. In the over-18s category, the winner was David Steedon, from Macclesfield.