He may be a successful businessman now, and a senior member of Swindon Borough Council's Conservative cabinet, but when Coun Oliver Donachie was young he was told he could not go to university.

Coun Donachie told members of the growing the economy scrutiny committee: "I was told that I had absolutely no hope of going to university by my parents - they said they couldn't afford it and that was that."

The cabinet member for economic development at Euclid Street added: "I don't want that to be said to any other young person in Swindon" as he spoke about increasing the number of people moving on to further and higher education and degree-level courses- one of the aims of the Swindon Learning Town project.

He added: "We need to publicise the grants and bursaries that are available, so people from the more disadvantaged parts of town know that university or other study can be for them."

On the the project's website three different funds are listed: a university bursary of up to £1,500, a vocational grant for those age 14-25 and an education support grant, all for families on benefits.

See Swindonlearningtown.com