Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo drums up £500k for charities

The Changxing Lotus Dragon Dance Folklore Group at this year's Tattoo. Picture: Ian Georgeson
The Changxing Lotus Dragon Dance Folklore Group at this year's Tattoo. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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A HOST of charities have been given an early Christmas present thanks to the success of this year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

The organisers of the summer extravaganza have dished out £500,000 to a total of 15 good causes.

Beneficiaries include those which work with soldiers and veterans and those which help the arts.

The cash comes from the profits generated by the Tattoo after its sell-out festival performances at Edinburgh Castle.

This year’s Tattoo was staged under the banner “East Meets West” to celebrate a year-long cultural exchange between the UK and China, and came after years of negotiations with performers.

More than 150 Chinese performers, including The Military Band of The People’s Liberation Army, joined a 12-strong Troupe of Indian dancers who created a special Bollywood-inspired song and dance sequence drawn from Asian groups across Scotland, including hits from the soundtrack of Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire.

Brigadier David Allfrey MBE, Tattoo chief executive and producer, said he was proud that such a big contribution could be made to charities.

He said: “The Tattoo has always tried to make a wider social contribution and, when we are fortunate enough to make a financial surplus, we try to support the services and the arts.

“In the past, we have tended to make our grants without fanfare.

“Recently though, research has shown that very few of our customers are aware of our charitable purpose and the scale of contribution.

“Accordingly, we have decided to share the story.

“The Tattoo is run as an effective and efficient business. The production company does the hard work of staging the show each year and the charitable company draws down the benefit.

“Our Board of Trustees and our staff are hugely proud of this less well-known aspect of our work.”

The full list of charities to benefit is: The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity; ABF The Soldiers’ Charity; The RAF Benevolent Fund; Seafarers UK; Combat Stress, Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League; Army in Scotland Trust (including the Scottish National War Memorial, 51st Infantry Brigade Welfare Fund, the Edinburgh Garrison Welfare Fund and the Army Piping Committee); The Royal Lyceum Theatre Company; the Edinburgh International Festival; the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival; the Imaginate Festival; the Edinburgh Mela, the Edinburgh Art Festival; Traditional Art and Culture Scotland, and Edinburgh Gang Show Productions.

newsen@edinburghnews.com