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Edinburgh Military Tattoo donates £1m to charity

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Forces charities will be the biggest beneficiaries of this year's Edinburgh Military Tattoo donation, but £225,000 will also go to the arts in Edinburgh and beyond

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is to donate £1 million to 13 charities across the UK.

The donation brings the total donated by the annual Edinburgh festival military spectacle to £11m since it first began in 1950.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo aims to deliver on the three guiding pillars of: military entertainment, influence and social contribution.

Supporting the latter, since 2016 the tattoo has committed to donating £1 million every year.

The majority of the funds (£775,000) will go to armed services beneficiaries including: The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, Scottish Amenities Fund, ABF The Soldier’s Charity, Army in Scotland Trust, Army Piping Committee, 51 Infantry Brigade Welfare Fund, Edinburgh Garrison Welfare Fund, RAF Benevolent Fund, and Scottish National War Memorial.

The news comes on the back of the 2018 show’s 20th consecutive sell-out year in Edinburgh.

This year’s The Sky’s the Limit showcase welcomed more than 1,200 international performers and 220,000 audience members to watch a 100-minute showcase of military pageantry, music, dance, technical wizardry and special effects in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle.

Rucelle Soutar, head of finance for The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo said: “Our core purpose is to sustain world-class shows in Edinburgh and abroad but underlying this is a passionate desire to support our national institutions and society more generally. In doing this, we want to help provide stability and offer a launch pad for future generations. So, we are beyond thrilled to mark our third consecutive £1 million donations in support for military, veterans and the arts.

“A strong component of this year’s donation has been awarded to organisations that will continue to engage people, especially young people, with the armed forces, support and care for veterans as well as inspiring the next generation of musicians and dancers. All of this will help to sustain the tattoo and all that lies behind.”

Arts organisations will benefit from the remainder of the funds, including the Edinburgh International Festival with a donation of £20,000 and the Royal Lyceum Theatre which will collect £5,000 to increase engagement in Scotland’s globally-renowned cultural and arts scene.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Youth Talent Development Fund run in conjunction with Creative Scotland will receive £150,000 to provide young artists in Scotland with the opportunity to develop their skills in the realms of traditional music and dance such as piping, drumming, highland dancing and fiddle playing.

The tattoo will also once again be partnering with The City of Edinburgh Council to promote the Access to Arts and Culture Project fund.

The tattoo is donating £50,000 to a fund of £97,700, which will be given to organisations within the city of Edinburgh to undertake projects that extend the reach of arts and cultural engagement, helping overcome geographic, financial and social barriers to accessing activity in the arts and culture.

Councillor Donald Wilson, convener of culture and communities at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “We are thrilled to be collaborating with The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo again in support of Edinburgh’s creative and cultural life. The tattoo plays a hugely important role in the city, promoting culture to the world and bringing international talent to perform at Edinburgh Castle each August.”

Mandy Lindley of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity said “We are truly grateful for the donation from The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo; it enables RNRMC to support our sailors, marines, veterans and their families whatever their needs. From family activities and marking homecomings to providing residential care for our older veterans, this donation will help us in so many ways.”