Performing arts school gets £1.5m for future stars

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, which helped train James McAvoy, Alan Cumming and David Tennant, has been awarded £1.5 million to create places on its performing arts courses.
James McAvoy was trained by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Picture: GettyJames McAvoy was trained by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Picture: Getty
James McAvoy was trained by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Picture: Getty

The Transitions 20/40 programme, designed to widen access to drama, music and ballet training, was allocated the funds.

It is hoped the money and coaching will enable young people from poorer backgrounds to get on degree courses and other higher education.

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The Scottish Funding Council’s £1,548,000 for the Glasgow-based conservatoire will be given over four years starting in August.

Funding for places in screen and production courses will be introduced in 2014-15.

In the first year of Transitions 20/40, a total of 48 students will be recruited to the junior conservatoire of drama, modern ballet and music. Auditions will be held in Glasgow, West Lothian, Inverness and Dundee.


By the 2016-17 academic year, it hopes to have tripled its drama, music, screen and production intakes.

Professor Maggie Kinloch, conservatoire vice-principal, said: “High-quality pathways to develop the right skills in drama, modern ballet, music, production and screen are inconsistently available across Scotland. Where they are available, they are often prohibitively expensive.

“With the ground-breaking Transitions 20/40 scheme we aim to help prospective dancers, performers and producers of music, theatre, television and film as they enter the transition into training phase of their development and hopefully towards formal degree training at conservatoire or higher education level.

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“In real terms, this is access to arts and humanities for all, enabling people from all walks of life to reach their extraordinary potential.

“The Scottish Funding Council’s investment in our pre-higher education work will lead to great things for the young people involved.”

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Laurence Howells, interim chief executive of the funding council, said: “Talented young people from poorer backgrounds often cannot afford the kind of training required to audition for degree-level courses. By developing their skills in this way through this project, we will give more people the chance to go on to train in dance, drama and music.”