A FORMER head boy at Great Sankey High School has been awarded a prestigious scholarship to Chetham’s Music School in Manchester.

The opportunity came after Ben Newlove was named the first recipient of the new Warrington and District Arts Council Student Award with a £200 prize.

On top of that, the 17-year-old has been given a £500 grant from the Jane and Stephen Murphy Foundation, a new Warrington charity which will support young talent in the town.

Ben is an organ scholar at Warrington Parish Church and his organ tutor is Michael Wynne, master of music at St Mary’s Church in Buttermarket Street.

The football and cricket enthusiast comes from a musical family.

Ben’s dad Stephen and two sisters Rebekah and Rosie are accomplished pianists.

His uncle Andrew is also an organist at St Mark’s in Sheffield.

Ben, who has completed grade eight in piano, organ and trumpet, said: “Chetham’s will be a great adventure and I am grateful to everyone in Warrington, especially parents, family and teachers who have made it possible. I hope to be a credit to them all.”

Clr Tony Higgins said: “With the Government cuts there is no money to support great talent like Ben and Warrington and District Arts Council is continuing to raise funds to make more awards to students in the town.”

Clr Celia Jordan added: “Warrington is full of young artistic talent. Ben is the first student to receive an award, but will not be the last, and we are proud to help in his career.”