A FORMER Shepley woman has won a coveted grant to help her become a successful theatre director.

Rhiannon Ellis, 22, has received £6,000 from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to fund a trip to New York and Canada.

During the trip, in June, she will research visual projection in theatres, attending international drama conferences and meeting top theatre directors.

Rhiannon, a former Shelley High School pupil, graduated last summer with a theatre direction degree from the Rose Bruford School of Drama in London.

She currently runs drama workshops for young people and started work this week as assistant director on a production of Northanger Abbey at the Theatre Royal in York.

But her dream is to be a director in London, where she still lives.

She said:

"I am really looking forward to the trip. I could never have afforded to go without the grant."

Rhiannon is the youngest of 100 people to receive a grant from the trust, which is run by Churchill's descendants.

Thousands of people of all professions bid for cash each year.