SALES of this year's official Bournemouth Air Festival programme raised more than £9,000 for UK armed forces charities.

Representatives of the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and Royal Marines, and the British Army attended a ceremony of Bournemouth Pier where the money was handed over by Bournemouth Council.

Air Festival Director Jon Weaver told the Echo: "We thought it was really important we said thank you to the Royal Navy, the army and the RAF for bringing all the assets they do each year.

"There is very strong support within the town for the armed forces, and for us it is very important.

"Every year we ask the armed forces to select the charities they want to benefit - we think it is the best way of doing it, so they can get the maximum help to the people they believe should benefit."

Representatives of the Royal Air Forces Association; The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund; The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity; and ABF The Soldiers Charity attended the cheque presentation.

The £9,054 raise will be split between the three forces.

Brigadier Jock Fraser, Naval Regional Commander Wales and Western England, said: "I am here today to receive on behalf of the naval service and on behalf of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, a cheque that is comes from the very generous contributions of people who attended and supported the Bournemouth Air Festival.

"Coincidentally, this is the tenth anniversary of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

"It is delightful for me to be back, we are planning already for the next air festival."

Meanwhile, British Army Mayor Nick Payne, said: "This is all about community engagement, the soldiers love it - they love the interaction with the public.

Army Warrant Officer Neil Hague said participation in the festival was the perfect way to give the community a chance to meet the armed forces.

"We serve the community, so it is a chance for people to come along and see what we do," he stressed.

Flight Lieutenant David Sinclair, representing the Royal Air Force said: "This event gives us the opportunity to engage with 1.6 million people over the weekend, and also to provide space in the RAF Village for the charities as well.

"The work these charities do for us, in terms of our serving personnel and our veterans includes welfare, finance and much more- it is a chance for us to show our support to them."