THE new touring fund for theatre and dance, a controversial part of the Creative Scotland funding announcements earlier this year, has finally been unveiled.

The £2m fund is now open for applications from "Scottish based dance and theatre artists, companies and organisations, independent dance and theatre producers and venues, for the making and touring of new work or the restaging of previous work for touring to a minimum of 12 locations across Scotland over a maximum two-year period."

Further application dates will be published in early 2019.

Creative Scotland said that the decisions on the fund will be made by a panel of five judges from the theatre and dance world, and up to four staff from the funding body.

In the Regular Funding controversy earlier this year, the Touring Fund was initially positioned as a substitute or alternative for regular funding to some theatre companies.

Iain Munro, Creative Scotland's acting Chief Executive, said: "It is an extremely important and exciting new development which will generate more opportunities for high quality theatre in Scotland to flourish and for more people across the country to experience and enjoy it.

“The co-creation of the fund with the Federation of Scottish Theatre signifies a major step forward in our shared endeavour to address the challenges set out in the Review of Touring Theatre and Dance."

Jude Henderson, Federation of Scottish Theatre Director said: "FST members have devoted significant time, thought, energy and care to working with Creative Scotland on the development of this fund.

“We welcome Creative Scotland’s commitment to addressing the issues raised by the Review of Touring Theatre and Dance, and to continuing open dialogue and flexible review of the fund as it operates’.

THE ARMY is back at the Fringe festival this year.

Fijian warriors and dancers from a show about World War I Indian soldiers were joined by the Operational Head of the Army in Scotland for the launch of Army@TheFringe 2018.

The venue, which opens today, has a programme of seven productions and a photographic exhibition.

Brigadier Robin Lindsay, Commander, 51 Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Scotland, said: "For three weeks in August, the Army in Scotland becomes part of the world’s biggest arts festival.

"This year we’ll be showcasing productions with a strong emphasis on the international and on diversity.

“Some of these will challenge the audience’s perception of the Army, soldiering and service."

He added: "Research indicates that the Army and those who serve in it are held in high public regard. However, it also shows the Army is not particularly well understood.

“We are an organisation rooted in society; we live in, work in and contribute to our communities, but sometimes we lack the depth of dialogue we need to make a greater connection with society."

Many of the productions are accompanied by after-show discussions.

Army@The Fringe takes place at the Hepburn House drill hall.

A KILLER whale skull from the only resident killer whale pod in the UK, one of two known silver tea kettles to be made by Ebenezer Oliphant, one of the most accomplished goldsmiths of the 18th century, and a selection of Japanese ceramics are among objects featured in New to the National Collection, a display opening at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh on 17 August.

New to the National Collection will highlight some of National Museums Scotland’s recent acquisitions.

Five pieces from five generations of the Seif? Yohei lineage will be on display, demonstrating craftsmanship in a variety of styles.

The 1911 talking clock by Bernhard Hiller developed Thomas Edison’s earlier recording methods incorporating tape-based voice technologies into the piece.

An electric regulator clock from 1924 designed by Alexander Steuart of Edinburgh was extremely accurate and used to set the time on other clocks.

Also on display is a tea kettle by Ebenezer Oliphant from 1752-3 which is one of only two known to have been made by him.

The skull and some teeth from a Scottish killer whale known as ‘Lulu’ will also be displayed.

Lulu came from the only killer whale pod in the UK and was found dead on Tiree in 2016.