Reporter 433, 15 March 1999

£500,000 help for coalfield students

A new scholarship scheme helping teenagers from former coal-mining communities to study at the University has been announced. Yorkshire businessman Robert Ogden has pledged £500,000 to help students from the South Yorkshire towns of Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley complete their A-levels and a degree course at Leeds.

The scheme is to run for an initial ten years, and will be continued if successful. Around fifteen students will begin their scholarships with A-level courses this September. Each student will receive £500 a year during the two years of sixth-form education and £2,000 for each year of their degree course.

Mr Ogden is founder and chairman of the Ogden group of companies, which includes the largest independent coal preparation and recovery business in Europe. He said he particularly wanted to help those in areas badly affected by the demise of coal-mining as the industry had formed an important part of his company's success.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Wilson welcomed Mr Ogden's generous gesture. "We are delighted to collaborate by providing places for successful applicants on our degree courses. The scheme fits in well with our philosophy of broadening the opportunity for higher and university education," he said.

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