A council has agreed to help pay for some of its young people to go to university through an innovative scholarship scheme.

Wychavon District Council has awarded the £500 scholarship to 49 first year students this year, using funding from New Homes Bonus allocations

The scholarship scheme is designed to support undergraduate students from Wychavon who are studying full time courses at the University of Worcester.

Some of the recipients were at a recent reception at the University of Worcester Arena along with University of Worcester vice chancellor, Professor David Green; councillor Gerry O’Donnell, chairman of Wychavon district council; and councillor Paul Middleborough, the council's leader.

Professor Green said: “Wychavon District Council approached us with this proposal a couple of years ago, as they wanted to encourage the young people in their area to enter higher education.

“They are renowned as an innovative and enterprising council, and they recognised that the future of their area lies in educated, skilled people participating in society and making the most of their own rich potential."

Mr O’Donnell said: “I like to think of Wychavon as a family, and we look after members of that family in a distinctive, unique and considerate way.

"Our young people are about to be launched into a global race, and we want them to have the best start possible.

“We hope the students enjoy their time at University, and that they stay, work and prosper in Wychavon.”

Scholarship recipient Lesley La-Croix, who is studying Drama and Performance, added: “It’s great that the council are recognising and helping people in the area, and I think that the Scholarship scheme will certainly inspire other Wychavon residents to attend university and make the most of their potential.”

The scholarship will also support undergraduates who enrol at the university in 2014 and 2015.