Sunderland schoolgirl's artwork appears on National Express coach

A schoolgirl's artwork has proved just the ticket in a region-wide competition.

Wednesday, 8th November 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 3:24 am
Layla Downing with her artwork

Layla Downing, seven, from Houghton, put pen to paper to draw her favourite local landmark as part of National Express’s Colour the Coach competition.

After dad John spotted the competition in the Echo, Layla got to work to create a vibrant depiction of the Angel of the North.

Her resulting picture now features on a National Express coach after Sunderland-based children’s author and illustrator Holly Sterling chose her as the winner for the Northern category of the competition.

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Layla, who attends Dubmire Primary School in Fence Houses, said: “I can’t believe I’ve won, I’m really pleased. I like drawing pictures and one day I want to be an artist like Holly.”

Her mum Kim said: “We’re over the moon that Layla has won, she loves drawing and has been runner up in a couple of competitions before but she’s never been the winner. She whooped with joy when she heard the news.”

Colour the Coach is a nationwide drawing competition where kids aged five to 15 are asked to draw their favourite local landmark, to celebrate some of the sights you can see on National Express’s UK-wide coach network.

The winning designs in each region, as chosen by a local artist, are turned into a special one off livery to go on the side of a coach.

National Express Coach, managing director, Chris Hardy said: “I’m delighted to announce Layla as the winner of Colour the Coach 2017 in the north. “She’s clearly talented and her drawing looks fantastic on the side of our coach. We are keen to promote youth talent as part of our Youth Promise.”