EIGHT artistic youngsters have been commended for their entries in an MP’s Christmas card competition.

Arranged by Mike Wood, Member of Parliament for Dudley South, the competition saw more than 1,000 entries submitted.

Eventually they were whittled down to an overall winner - Abigail Whitehouse from year five at Brook Primary School - and seven runners up.

Mr Wood said: “We’ve got so much Christmas spirit here in Dudley South, and I always enjoy running this competition to help encourage the creativity of our youngsters at this special time of year – so I’d like to give a big thank you to all the brilliant young artists who entered.

As well as making it onto the MP’s Christmas card which is sent all over the country to other MPs, Mayors and even King Charles III – the eight winning designs are being displayed on digital screens at Merry Hill.

Merry Hill also awarded the winners with gift cards, with additional prizes given by Cadbury World, Black Country Living Museum, Dudley Zoo and the Red House Glass Cone.

Jonathan Poole, Merry Hill centre manager, said: “We’re delighted to support the Christmas card competition, we look forward to hosting this each year. It’s always fantastic to see the artistic talent in our local schools.”

Mr Wood added: “I’d like to thank Merry Hill and the other organisations who have donated prizes to help us celebrate the talent of this year's winners, and I hope shoppers will enjoy seeing these eight fantastic designs on the digital displays here at Merry Hill over the Christmas period.”