CHILDREN have brightened up a popular community venue with their artwork.

Twenty-five year nine pupils at Greencroft School, in Annfield Plain, near Stanley, worked with artist Andrew Mckeown to design and create a mosaic for the Communal Rooms in nearby Catchgate.

Yesterday, local historian Hylton Marrs unveiled the piece, which in honour of the area's mining heritage, features a group of children carrying two miners' banners.

The project was funded by Derwentside District Council and the National Lottery Awards for All scheme.

It was led by the Catchgate Partnership and environmental group Groundwork West Durham.

Jane Twist, of the Catchgate Partnership, said: "The mosaic looks really eye-catching. We are very pleased with it and have had lots of favourable comments from local people."

The project has proved such a hit with pupils that the school is already working on more.

Head of art Karen Surtees said: "The pupils enjoyed the project immensely and gained a lot from it. So much so, that we are presently doing two mosaics for the school, soon to be completed.

"It was great experience for pupils to work with a professional artist, and an exciting one-off opportunity to produce such a splendid piece of contemporary art for their own community - one which they will be proud of in years to come."