There’s a brand new superhero in town – Harry the Hound!

11 year-old Connor Pickering has won a competition to design a new mascot for Blackpool's Hounds Hill shopping centre, and he was at the centre today to see his creation unveiled by Centre Manager Debs Lancelot.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'16-5-2013
11 year-old Connor Pickering has won a competition to design a new mascot for Blackpool's Hounds Hill shopping centre, and he was at the centre today to see his creation unveiled by Centre Manager Debs Lancelot. PIC BY ROB LOCK'16-5-2013
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It’s a dream of many young boys to become a superhero.

But Connor Pickering has achieved the next best thing by creating a new superhero mascot for a Blackpool shopping centre.

The 11-year-old is the proud creator of Harry the Hound, the new face around Houndshill Shopping Centre.

The winning design took no time at all for Connor to come up with.

He said: “I just put down the first thing that popped into my head. I think it won because of its bright colours.

The St John Vianney Catholic Primary School pupil visited the Blackpool town centre venue yesterday to see how his original design has been transformed into a life-size mascot outfit.

Staff from the shopping centre and professional designers pored over dozens of entries to the design competition before settling on Connor’s design for its fun nature.

Debbs Lancelot, centre manager, said: “Harry the Hound had a real fun element to it with the mask and cape which we thought was really cute.”

It was not before time for creative Connor to achieve artistic glory after twin sister Shauna had her own artwork displayed at The Solaris Centre as part of The Gazette’s Young Seasiders competition.

He added: “My sister felt proud of me – it’s the first time I’ve ever won anything.”

The mascot is now in the final stages of its creation and will be unveiled, to be used for events, workshops and giveaways, in coming weeks.

And competitive centre staff are keen to enter Harry the Hound in Blackpool’s Mascot Games later this summer.

Connor said: “It will be exhilarating when I see the real thing.”