Page last updated at 11:02 GMT, Wednesday, 20 August 2008 12:02 UK

Tattoo unveils 'Homecoming' plans

tattoo - generic
The Tattoo will perform shows beyond Edinburgh next year

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is to move outside the capital next year as part of Scotland's Homecoming 2009 celebrations, it has been announced.

Four additional satellite shows will be arranged but the venues and locations have yet to be confirmed. All the events will be free.

First Minister Alex Salmond said he was "delighted" the Tattoo would be widening access to its shows.

The year of Homecoming is aimed at the Scottish diaspora around the world.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to attend a series of events from Burns night in January to St Andrews Day in November.

The year of Homecoming coincides with the 250th anniversary of the birth of the national poet and the 2009 Tattoos will feature a Burns theme.

Creative connections

The Scottish Arts Council has pledged an additional 250,000 to boost the line-up of activities being developed.

"With the Year of Homecoming fast approaching, the Edinburgh Festival has now become a living, vibrant invitation for people around the world to return in 2009 to celebrate Scotland's creative connections," Mr Salmond added.

"Across the Edinburgh Festivals - the International Festival, the Fringe, the Book Festival, the Science Festival, Film Festival and Winter Festivals - there are plans to take part in the Homecoming celebrations.

"Already a programme is taking shape that promises national celebration not to be missed."

Among the other highlights will be the Gathering 2009 in July, one of the largest clan gatherings in history, which will see a Highland games in Holyrood park, a parade up the Royal Mile and clan pageant in Edinburgh Castle esplanade.

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