A GALASHIELS schoolgirl has been named as the regional winner of this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe schools poster competition

Lauren Taylor's eye-catching artwork was the pick of expert judges from the hundreds of entries from around the Borders.

The 16-year-old Academy pupil's design will be displayed at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh from next month along with 13 other regional winner.

Judge Jon Bishop, aka The Grey Earl, was thrilled by Lauren's work. He told us: "Creativity is something to be celebrated and nurtured both in school and throughout life.

"Lauren’s entry exquisitely features many artistic techniques and the character she has drawn really captures the mystical and magical spirit of the Fringe.”

A total of 150 shortlisted artworks will also be on display at Dynamic Earth during the free exhibition from June 6 to August 28.

Supported by Virgin Money, the competition launched in 1980 and is one of Scotland’s longest-running arts outreach projects.

This year, 238 classes from 187 different schools across Scotland entered with over 5,500 pupils submitting inspirational and unique designs in response to the creative brief.

Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, Shona McCarthy, said: "We had a fantastic response to the competition in this our 70th anniversary year.

"The variety of ideas and different creative techniques we received from across Scotland were truly inspiring.

"It’s wonderful to see so much creativity which made it incredibly difficult for the judging panel to select the winners. The Fringe is the world’s largest arts festival and the greatest platform on earth for creative freedom – it presents a wonderful opportunity for schoolchildren across Scotland to learn about, and to engage in, the arts and the creative industries.

"Creative thinking is vital, not only to how children learn, but to how they develop as rounded human beings, the Fringe Society has an ongoing commitment to supporting teachers and young people to enhance these skills for the future.”

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the competition’s top prize offered the next generation of artists the opportunity to design the cover of the official Fringe Programme.

For the first time, schoolchildren were encouraged to submit entries in any art form of their choice, such as photography, poetry, digital creations, sculptures, illustrations, paintings and print work - giving them the freedom to express their ideas and explore their creativity.

The competition was judged by an expert panel, with representatives from Education Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council, Dynamic Earth, the Fringe Society, Whitespace, Virgin Money as well as the competition’s champion artist, Jon Bishop aka The Grey Earl.