Posted on 7th December 2021 by

Cornwall has been revealed as a hotbed of dance and performing arts talent by Young & Talented Cornwall, The Lord Lieutenant’s Fund, which has awarded £14,000 in grants to Cornwall’s next generation of superstar performers. These were awarded as part of the latest round of grants made to a varied selection of young Cornish talent.


Three of the fund’s recipients – Aiden Drew (age 16 from Par), Sophia Clarke (age 17 from Truro) and Megan Blamey (age 17 from St Austell) – are students at the Jason Thomas Performing Arts School in Truro. With exceptional potential, the grant will support their studies at the specialist dance studio and help them to fulfil their ambitions.


Other recipients of the fund are using their grants to access training opportunities offered by some of the country’s most prestigious dance schools. Alec West and Gracie Giles, both gifted 12-year-olds from Devoran and Looe respectively, have been selected to study at The Royal Ballet School in London.


Fellow aspiring professional ballet dancer, Aston Purnell (age 17 from St Austell) is one of only nine boys in his class at the English National Ballet School, along with Jamie Constance (age 18 from Padstow) who is on the school’s Professional Training Programme. Ruby Yule (age 18) completes the dance inspired line-up having moved from her home in Carnon Downs to join the Performers College in Essex.

In the performing arts sector, the talents of the young performer, Jenny McKniff, have sparked international attention. With the support of a Young & Talented Cornwall grant, Jenny has gone from St Austell to Barcelona where she has taken up a place at the prestigious Institute of the Arts to study musical theatre.


Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE, Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, who heads up Young & Talented Cornwall, explains: “With every round of funding we are overwhelmed by the calibre of very worthy applications; the talent that we have on our doorstep in Cornwall is incredible. Never before though have we seen such concentrated talent for dance and performance arts. These youngsters are the next generation of dance – they have the drive to succeed and are ultimate role models for young people. We are really pleased to be able to support them on their journey to stardom and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.”


Alongside budding dancers, the latest round of Young & Talented Cornwall funding also supports young Cornish sportspeople, musicians, and actors.