Government funds for film academy

The Government hopes to bolster the British film industry by setting up an academy to train the next generation of directors to follow in the footsteps of Danny Boyle and Tom Hooper.

The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, announced the launch of the scheme yesterday, to be run by the British Film Institute, which will teach film skills to thousands of 16- to 19-year-olds.

The Government will provide £3m over three years to what it hopes will help "ensure the British film industry remains competitive".

The film academy will run all year round on Saturdays and in the evenings for 5,000 young people in local and regional centres. From those, 200 will be selected for a film-making course teaching technical, business and marketing skills.

More information will be revealed this week, but the proposal will be welcomed after plans for a screen craft academy to be built at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire collapsed in January when the studio's plans to expand its site with permanent sets and up to 1,400 houses were blocked.