SCHOOL children across East Lancashire could be included in ambitious plans to mark the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has backed proposals to give 50,000 children nationwide the chance to stage a Shakespeare play in a theatre by 2014.

The Shakespeare Schools Festival will receive £140,000 from the Department for Education to help it almost triple the number of schools it works with, from 700 to around 2,000 by 2014.