A scheme to open Britain's first school only for gay pupils has been handed tens of thousands of pounds.

LGBT Youth North West was given a £63,000 grant by government to assess demand for the institution, which would educate 40 youngsters.

Opponents of the plans claim the school would 'ghettoise' gay pupils by separating them from other youngsters and 'foster division.'

But advocates say it is necessary for helping students facing bullying "because schools can be one of the last bastions of homophobia."

Amelia Lee, the strategic director of the scheme, said: "This is about saving lives."

It is based upon the Harvey Milk School in New York which serves gay pupils, but is also open others.

Parents would pay an estimated £16,000 a year to send a child to the LGBT school in Manchester.