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A step up for dance

The National Lottery will come to the rescue of hard-pressed dance and drama students whose discretionary grants have been eroded drastically in the last 10 years.

The Arts Council of England announced yesterday details of an interim scheme based on a report of a working party published last autumn. The programme has been extended to four years instead of the three in the original plan, which will benefit two intakes of students.

Lord Gowrie,chairman of the council, emphasised that this was an interim measure designed to bridge the gap until the Government found a means of supporting the training of dance and drama students. He hoped for a permanent solution following the conclusions of the Dearing report on higher education due later in the year.

The Department for Education and Employment has pledged up to Pounds 10m towards the scheme over four years, with the lottery expected to contribute around Pounds 15m, depending on applications. Local education authorities will be expected to contribute at least Pounds 1,000 towards the yearly cost of tuition fees of around Pounds 7,000- roughly 10 times those of other FE students.

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