YOUNG students learning the skills of acting and public speaking are celebrating success in one of the world’s longest-running festivals of its kind.

The youngsters, who are studying at Expressions Drama and Northern Talent, based in Skipton and Bradford, achieved top placings in the Mrs Sunderland Speech and Drama Festival, which has been running since 1889, held at Huddersfield Town Hall.

Eight-year-old Niamh Harmon, left, took first prize in ‘verse speaking’ in her age group, while Libby Stephens and Karolina Kowal, right, were winners of the ‘dramatic duologue’ prize for Year 11 and under.

Drama teacher Rachael Delaney said: “We are extremely proud of them. Niamh was a shy little girl when she joined us in 2017 - she has blossomed into a confident, well-spoken individual.

“All our drama classes in Skipton, Cross Hills and Eldwick believe every child should shine, by giving them the life-long skill of confidence and life-skills.

“Within the casting office at Northern Talent, students have landed television roles in ‘Ackley Bridge’, ‘Dumbing Ground’, short films and commercials.”

The Mrs Sunderland Festival, is held annually and attracts young performers from across the country.