AN original L S Lowry painting is expected to fetch hundreds of thousands of pounds at auction to fund additional facilities for children and young people in Cambridgeshire. The painting, A Market Place, Berwick on Tweed, was painted in 1935 and bought by

AN original L S Lowry painting is expected to fetch hundreds of thousands of pounds at auction to fund additional facilities for children and young people in Cambridgeshire.

The painting, A Market Place, Berwick on Tweed, was painted in 1935 and bought by the council's chief education officer Henry Morris 10 years later for 30 guineas (£31.50). It now has an estimated value of between £300,000 and £500,000.

It belongs the Cambridgeshire Schools Art Collection and is being sold by auctioneers Christie's on May 21.

The money will be used to support cultural activities across the county, such as the visual and performing arts, film and media, literature, sport and heritage, CCC said today. Funds will also support the maintenance of other paintings in the collection currently loaned to schools.

The painting is on display in the Lowry Gallery in Salford. A limited number of prints have also been produced for Cambridgeshire schools, courtesy of the Lowry Estate.

Several other lesser known works of art have also been sold in recent years, but the Lowry is the last current sale of the collection, a council spokesman said.

Auction was chosen as the most transparent way of selling the painting and realising the highest possible price, and Christie's was chosen following a competitive tendering process.

Councillor David Harty, cabinet member for learning, said: "The painting was a shrewd investment by Henry Morris on behalf of Cambridgeshire County Council more than 60 years ago, and we believe the time is now right to sell. All the money raised will go towards the Cambridgeshire Culture programme, to support the cultural experiences of children and young people.