The Castlegate House art gallery is a cool, quiet place in a stately and large Georgian townhouse.

Pictures hang on the walls, figures are displayed in boxes.

In a few months, the gallery will be a showcase of hope.

It will be exhibiting a series of artworks competing for a new, major national art prize, while raising the profile and means of providing psychiatric care to teenagers.

The castlegate prize will be launched this month by Steve and Christine Swallow, who hopes that in a few years' time he will be considered as high as the Turner Prize and the BP Portrait Award.

The couple is offering the winner a prize of £ 10,000 – and wants to garner thousands for YoungMinds, the UK's leading charity for the mental health of young people.

The very first prize is based on the theme of hope: the participants must create a work that is inspired by the word. All £ 20 entry fees will be donated to YoungMinds,

The idea came from a bottle of wine on Friday evening.

Steve explains, "I said it would be great if we could create an art award, not only regional but also national, and join forces with a charity so that all participation fees go to this charity."

"We started talking about which charity. The mental health of the adolescents was very important to us and we talked to a couple. The second we talked to was YoungMinds in London. "

"I came up with the idea of ​​linking the whole thing with an inspiring word that artists should use as inspiration, and that word should be associated with charity for the whole to grow together.

"The next morning, I posted a Facebook post that was then forwarded and shared tens or dozens, if not hundreds of times, and was called up three or four thousand times."

Steve and Christine opted for the charity because they have a daughter at university and a son preparing for high school.

"We've seen our kids and their friends go through exams," says Steve. "I can not remember that I felt under this pressure – or that my friends were feeling that pressure – that teenagers seem to be now.

"When we visited YoungMinds, they were a much smaller charity than Mind, but with a much more specific focus and their enthusiasm for what we wanted was wonderful.

The charity not only supports teenagers with mental health problems, but also their families.

It's not known how much the new prize for the charity could bring, but the two hope it could be thousands.

"This could make a significant contribution to their finances and their ability to help people," says Christine. "We will do it every two years and there may be more prizes, but we wanted to keep the first one simple.

"It's the same as the grand total for the BP Prize and the Turner Prize – but this one brings all the money to the winner."

"It is quite possible that we will receive several thousand submissions.

"If we only got a thousand submissions at a cost of £ 20 per entry, £ 20,000 is a huge sum for YoungMinds.

"The money does not go to us, effectively donating 20 pounds to YoungMinds. The psychological barrier is torn down, even if you are not a finalist, your money still goes to a good cause. "

YoungMinds works with young people across the UK, is committed to change, and sensitizes all young people to the help and support they need for their sanity. The charity also runs a free helpline for parents who support parents and carers who are worried about a young person.

"YoungMinds is a truly outstanding charity whose work gives hope to young people – and their families, who may also be in difficult times," says Steve.

The couple is located directly across from Cockermouth Castle and has owned the gallery for seven and a half years.

It has a national reputation – not an easy task, bearing in mind that the British art market is located almost exclusively in and around London.

The couple specializes in contemporary 20th century British artists such as David Hockney, Sheila Fell, Frank Auerbach, Grayson Perry, Leon Kossoff, Winifred Nicholson and Norman Cornish.

They also work for young talents like Alex Hain, William Reinsch and Louis Appleby.

They exhibited five pieces of Cornish at the British Art Fair at the Saatchi Gallery in October

You will be exhibiting five early pieces by Grayson Perry and other artists at the London Art Fair in January.

The Castlegate Prize will be awarded on the 23rd of November.

The judges will be Christine and Steve, with guests Eileen Cooper, the first guardian of the Royal Academy and director of RA schools; Cumbrian artist Martin Greenland, who won the John Moores Paining Prize in 2006; and "adopted" Cumbrian, broadcaster and writer Stuart Maconie.

Susan says, "Eileen is in her sixties and more mature, but she's used to dealing with younger twenties artists and promoting new talent."

There is no art that Steve and Christine prefer. He says, "We do not show artists – and we do not represent artists – because we believe that their work will sell. We do that because we really like the work of this artist. "

They will reduce the entries to 60 before the entire panel gets together to digitally review the 60 and reduce it to the 30 finalists.

They will be shown in an exhibition in the gallery and the winner will be judged during the shows.

All works are offered for sale, which also benefits the artist.

"If we can get not only the artists but many people to travel to Cockermouth for the show, that's good for the city.

"Yes, we'll probably get a lot more people in the door by renting space in London and getting more press, but we're a Cumbrian gallery and want to encourage [people] to see how good Cockermouth is and to see the gallery.

"If future incarnations of it become incredibly popular every two years, it's going to be a cockermouth event in the first place."

n Registrations for the first Castlegate prize are possible on November 23rd and February 14th.

The winner will be announced in the gallery on May 2nd. The 30 best works will be exhibited in the following three weeks.

The criterion is the painting, drawing and mixing of media for wall design, inspired by the word "hope". Participants must be over 16 years old and resident in the UK. We can not compete with our own artists.

For more information, including attendance details, visit