'I am pleased to announce this scheme which my department is funding jointly with the Arts Council of England and LEAs. The scheme will be run by the Arts Council. I will be supporting the scheme for 3 years at a cost of £3m per annum, starting in 1997/98.
'Dance and drama students usually study at specialist private colleges, which rely largely on fees for income. These students are only eligible for discretionary awards from their LEAs, and the number of awards have fallen in recent years.