Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds Met University arts fund in memory of crash victim

Shamirah Grant
Image caption Shamirah Grant died after being struck by a car in Chapeltown last May

A new arts bursary for students from a deprived area of Leeds has been set up to honour a nine-year-old schoolgirl who was killed by a learner driver.

The Shamirah Grant Memorial Bursary will award £2,000 to nominated students from the Chapeltown area attending Leeds Metropolitan University.

Shamirah died after being hit by a car near Leopold Grove last May.

Beatrice Mawamba, 34, of Leopold Street, was jailed in December for causing death by dangerous driving.

The bursary will be awarded each year, starting in September, to first-year art students who attended secondary schools within the area's LS7 and LS8 postcode districts.

'Wonderful gesture'

Shamirah's parents Gary and Jennifer Grant approached the university after their daughter's death with the idea of setting up a dedicated fund.

Mr Grant, who works at the university, said he and Jennifer felt "privileged" that it was offering the bursary.

"It's a wonderful gesture and presents a fantastic opportunity for young people from local secondary schools who come from a disadvantaged background to undertake an arts-related degree," he said.

Professor Mohammad Dastbaz, the dean of arts, environment and technology school at the university, said: "We are delighted to be launching the Shamirah Grant Memorial Bursary to both celebrate Shamirah's memory as well as her enthusiasm and passion for art.

"[It will] also provide an opportunity for a talented youngster with the same passion to join our university's degree programme."

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