A TEN-YEAR-OLD schoolgirl had a central role to play in the opening of a new £25 million hotel in York.

The new Hampton by Hilton hotel, in Piccadilly, opposite Spark:York is now open and has created 50 new jobs. The deputy manager of the chain's sister hotel in Toft Green, Yasmine Hammadache, called on Lakeside – her old school – to help provide something that would give 'a quality customer service experience' at the hotel.

Lakeside, now part of Ebor Academy Trust, pitched in with a competition for children to provide artwork for postcards, featuring famous landmarks from the city, to be placed in guests' rooms.

Many of the hotel's visitors are from overseas and the postcards could form part of their souvenirs from their visit to York.

So impressed were the hotel with the artwork, that the winner not only received family tickets for the nearby Chocolate Story attraction, but also an overnight stay in the 143-bed hotel – and a VIP invitation to officially cut the ribbon to open the hotel.

Faith Cook, 10, was the competition winner, with her picture of York Minster.

She wielded the scissors to cut the ribbon following an opening speech from Stuart Clelland, the hotel’s operations manager.

Helen Hayes-Smith, head teacher at Lakeside Primary Academy, said: “We thoroughly enjoyed the project and were overwhelmed with entries – it was difficult to shortlist them to send to the hotel for them to judge.”

“It was a pleasure working with the Lakeside team – all the pictures were amazing,” said Yasmine Hammadache.

“I have such fond memories of my time at Lakeside and so when the opportunity arose for artwork from a local school, it was natural to go straight to them.”