An aspiring Clydebank actress has been able to take one step closer to realising her onstage ambitions by becoming one of the first recipients of a new national bursary.

Last year Laura Caban, 21, received a £2,000 grant towards her acting studies as part of a scheme run by Chivas Brothers’ to help employees and their families pursue further education and training.

Laura’s grandad Martin, who works in engineering at the company’s Strathclyde Distillery, originally encouraged her to apply after she won a place on the BA Acting for Stage and Screen course run by Edinburgh Napier and Queen Margaret universities.

Since starting her studies Laura has put the money to good use by purchasing new costumes for theatre productions and university assessments, as well as using it to fund travel and rehearsal space.

Laura said: “It’s been a really busy year and the money has helped to fund all of the extra material I need like book lists, corsets and character shoes.

“Some of the students in my class have also set up a theatre company called Amplify and we put on an amazing production of Dr Faustus in March.

“It was our very first show and it was great to have that extra financial support to buy the books and attend talks about the supernatural so I could really bring the production to life.”

Luckily, however, despite the heavy cost of costumes and university materials, Laura still has some of the grant to spare and plans to put the money towards further shows and university performances.

She added: “We’re also hoping to put on another show at the Fringe Festival next year so some of the bursary will help to fund rehearsals and travel.

“I’ve even saved half of the bursary for my final year. That’s when all of our big showcases will take place so I’ll need to travel more and book in additional workshops to help further develop my skills.”

The scheme has opened with up to £5,000 available per year for three years.