Press Office

Thursday 27 Nov 2014

Press Release

BBC Performing Arts Fund launches Training in Musical Theatre 2011 scheme

The BBC Performing Arts Fund is today inviting UK colleges and drama schools to apply for funding to help students on musical theatre courses to pay their fees.

For the past five years the fund has helped ambitious and talented students who need financial support through the Training in Musical Theatre scheme. Since its inception in 2003, the fund has already supported over 160 students to date distributing awards in excess of £630,000. Previous grant winners include many West End performers in shows like Mamma Mia!, Wicked and The Lion King.

This year, in order to make the process more streamlined and cost effective the fund has decided to award the money directly to UK colleges and drama schools that provide musical theatre training. The colleges will then distribute this funding to talented students who are able to demonstrate that they would benefit most from the financial support. The fund hopes to award up to £150,000 via the scheme.

Miriam O'Keeffe, project manager of the BBC Performing Arts Fund, said: "Students at colleges and drama schools across the UK are struggling to fund their courses at this difficult time. We fear that a lot of these talented performers may decide not to pursue their studies because of financial reasons and we want to work with the colleges to prevent that happening."

Applications will open on 11 April and will close at 5pm on 3 May 2011. The winning colleges will be announced in June 2011.

Notes to Editors

The BBC Performing Arts Fund is a registered charity, number 1101276.

The charity (formerly Fame Academy Bursary Trust) was set up in 2003 within the BBC. The fund receives revenue from the voting lines of BBC One entertainment programmes that seek to find new performing talent (including Fame Academy, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? and Over The Rainbow).

To date the fund has allocated more than £3 million to talented performing arts individuals and community groups, as well as offering mentoring and advice to help them achieve their goals.

The fund's vision is that long-term careers in the performing arts can be achievable and that community groups – given sufficient support and guidance – have a key role to play in the development of new talent.

KT

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