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The Trustees of the BBC Performing Arts Fund have announced that the charity will be closing at the end of March 2016.

The BBC Performing Arts Fund was set up following the success of the BBC One 2003 talent search Fame Academy. The BBC does not make any profit from telephone voting and the Fund receives any residual revenue that arises - after operator costs have been paid - on BBC shows including Strictly Come Dancing and The Voice.

In recent years, new forms of technology have changed the pattern of audience voting. These industry-wide technical developments enabling audiences to vote online, via smart phones and social media have meant that the amount of residual revenue available from BBC audience telephone voting for the Fund has decreased and it is clear that this trend will continue.

The PAF Board has considered all options and has taken the decision to wind down over the coming year. The Board of Trustees and staff will continue to support the existing Fellows and ensure that all remaining funding is spent in line with its charitable objectives.

Since its inception in 2003 as the Fame Academy Bursary, the Fund has awarded over £5m in funding and previous beneficiaries include Adele, composer Mark Simpson, soprano Kathryn Rudge and the 2015 Radio 2 Folk Awards Musician of the Year, Sam Sweeney.

Before closure, the BBC Performing Arts Fund is awarding £156,100 in grants to 17 alumni of its previous Fellowship schemes. The beneficiaries include Bristol-based writer Silva Semerciyan, Scottish composer Ailie Robertson, Belfast dramaturg Emily DeDakis and Cornish choreographer James Wilton.