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Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo to donate £1m to arts and armed services charities

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo to donate £1m to arts and armed services charities

Arts and armed forces charities will receive donations totalling £1 million from the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, following the annual event’s 19th consecutive sell-out year.

This is the largest sum the event organisers have donated to charity in a single year. The total donated by the military spectacle since it started in 1950 now stands at over £10 million.

The Tattoo is performed to a live audience of 220,000 annually on the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle with a further global TV audience of over 100 million. It was renamed The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 2010 after Her Majesty The Queen bestowed the Royal title in honour of its 60th anniversary.

Service charities

The Tattoo will contribute £725,000 to 11 armed services beneficiaries, including:

  • ABF – The Soldiers’ Charity
  • The RAF Benevolent Fund
  • The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity
  • Scottish National War Memorial
  • Seafarers UK
  • Combat Stress
  • Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League
  • the Army Piping Committee
  • and a number of Service personnel welfare funds.

Arts organisations

Donations to arts organisations has increased this year with six organisations set to receive a share of £275,000. These include:

  • Creative Scotland
  • the City of Edinburgh Culture Project Fund, who will oversee two new arts funds.

Creative Scotland will receive £150,000 to create a piping, drumming, fiddle and Highland dance fund, encouraging affinities with Scotland’s traditional music scene. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Talent Development Fund will launch in mid-October to tie in to Scotland’s Year of Young People in 2018.

The City of Edinburgh Council Culture Project Fund will receive £50,000. The first phase was launched in January to support the city’s new Culture Plan, adopted by the Council last year.

The Tattoo donation will fund the second phase development of new performing arts work in Edinburgh that demonstrates a local or citywide importance and develops partnerships working within the city’s cultural sector.  The Fund opened for applications on 6 October.

Brigadier David Allfrey MBE, Chief Executive and Producer of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, said: “The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has proudly been a charitable organisation supporting Armed Services charities and the Arts since 1950, donating over £10 million over the years.

“We are hugely excited that this is the second year in which we are able to pledge donations of £1 million and for the first time focusing solely on United Kingdom beneficiaries.  For us this is a major milestone and underpins our determination to make an ever greater contribution, while growing the Tattoo’s impact and value both in Edinburgh and further afield.”


Main image: The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo



Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

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