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Charitable donations of more than £1m rose by 9 per cent to £1.35bn last year, the highest level of large gifts made to charity since the start of the financial crisis.

Education received more money than any other area, and donors tended to focus on supporting organisations within the UK, according to private bank Coutts, which compiles an annual report on global donations of £1m and above.

The number of donors has dropped since 2010/11, but the sums provided have increased. More than half of the gifts were worth £2m or more.

Coutts said that UK philanthropy was in a buoyant state and reacting to changes in the way that the state supports charities.

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