THE artist behind the winning design has described being chosen as “a childhood dream come true”.

Lucy Williams, 47, said it would be an honour for her vision to take pride of place on Brighton Palace Pier for future generations to enjoy.

She said: “I’m originally from Lewes and I remember as a child Brighton always seemed like a long way away.

“It was always exciting to drive along the seafront with my face up against the window of our old Renault. I was fascinated by the illuminations and in particular the Palace Pier lights. To be chosen is a childhood dream come true. It is such an honour.”

Pier owner Luke Johnson announced the name would be changing shortly after he bought the attraction in April 2016.

In the summer last year he launched a competition for people to come up with a design for the pier’s iconic lights incorporating the new name, Brighton Palace Pier.

Hundreds entered and a panel of judges sat down in December to decide on a winner.

Pier owner Luke Mr Johnson, The Argus editor Lucy Pearce, crime writer Peter James and Gavin George, chief executive of the Laine Pub Company, eventually decided on Lucy’s design, describing it as encapsulating everything that is great about the pier and Brighton.

Mr Johnson said: “It represents the right mix of heritage and hipness. It feels Regency and Victorian and the lightbulbs sum up the enduring appeal of Brighton and the pier.”

Lucy, from Fiveways, Brighton, who is also behind The Open Market sign, said: “I wanted a font that was fun and entertaining. It is actually an old circus font and I think it will work really well.

“I had just two days after I came back from my summer holiday to get my entry in. I got up at 5am both days and got it done. I’m absolutely chuffed.”

Anne Martin, pier manager, said experts will now be consulted about bringing Lucy’s design to life.

She added it would take many months – but from today the attraction would be referred to by its new name in all official communications.

A competition was also launched for schoolchildren to design a pier mascot.

Three winners were chosen: Cerys Jones, 13, for her Mia Mermaid of the Pier; Sam Phelan, 11, of Oathall Road, Haywards Heath for his Sygnus Seagull; and 13-year-old Alicia Cooper, of Aberdeen Road, Brighton, for her Priti Plaice. The three youngsters, who will get free rides on the pier for a year, will also get the chance to redesign the pier’s existing mascot, Derby the dolphin. Ms Martin said: “We had so many entries which shows just what the pier means to local people.”