Longsands Academy has been awarded a £1,000 bursary to help update equipment used to stage its performing arts productions and A-Level showcases.

The Mo Pearce Bursary was awarded by the Huntingdon-based Shakespeare at The George Trust (SaTG Trust) and was presented on Monday at a special ceremony at the St Neots school.

The bursary will be used to help purchase new radio microphones that will allow the performers and the technicians involved in the productions to be able to properly showcase their skills for both their audiences and the A-level examiners.

"Thanks to the generosity of the SaTG Trust, our students now have the equipment they deserve to produce the grades they work so hard to attain," explained Treasaigh Griffiths, head of dance and drama at the academy.

"As well as bringing a level of sound quality to our productions that our performers deserve, the equipment is vital for the assessed A-Level showcases as technicians are examined on how they maintain, deploy and manage the equipment."

SaTG Trust is a charitable foundation that regularly makes funds available to local organisations, groups and individuals to further theatre and theatre skills in the region. It partly funds its bursaries using profits from its award-winning annual open-air Shakespeare production, performed in the Jacobean courtyard of The George Hotel in Huntingdon.

"This is exactly the type of project our bursaries are designed to support," added chairman of the trust, Richard Brown, who handed over the cheque.

"The skills that theatre helps develop in young people go far beyond the performances we see on stage which is why we are delighted that the Mo Pearce bursary will help encourage even greater participation."

The Performing Arts Department at Longsands Academy stages a dozen events every year, providing opportunities for every year group to take part in productions both on and off the stage and collectively engaging around three hundred students in one capacity or another.

The Mo Pearce Bursary is in memory of the late Mo Pearce, former trustee, director and actress for SaTG who inspired so many people with her love of Shakespeare and performance. SaTG offer a maximum of £1,000 each year to support amateur projects that connect to theatre in any particular way.

Individual bursaries are also presented to students beginning academic studies in any area connected to theatre. This could be theatre studies, drama school, or training in costume, make-up or back stage skills. The only requirement is that the applicant has worked with SaTG for at least a brief period of time, as part of one of the acting companies, or assisting backstage. Typically SaTG award bursaries of £250.00.