THE Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland is in 'a solid financial position', according to figures published in its annual financial report.

A year of growth has been reported by the society, with a total income in the year ending November 30, 2018, of £9.6 million, an increase of £1.56 million on 2017's £8.04 million total.

RHASS’ flagship event, The Royal Highland Show, delivered a fifth successive year of record revenue, generating £4.76 million – an increase of £310k from 2017's £4.45million.

Trading income, generated by RHASS’ wholly owned subsidiary, Highland Centre Ltd, increased slightly on 2017 at £1.65 million.

Net Operating surplus was £618,000, while 2017 saw a £234,000 deficit. This figure includes a legacy of £425,000, and £824,000 relating to income in connection with capital works for the recently completed Moxy Hotel. A further gain of £2.1 million was raised from the sale of a digital advertising screen on the perimeter of the site.

Fixed assets also show a year-on-year increase, this year of just over £3.4 million in 2018, due to the significant upgrading of infrastructure at the 280 acre site at Ingliston, with reconstruction currently taking place of the traditional members area of the annual show, scheduled to be completed in time for the 2020 Royal Highland Show.

A total of £301,000 in bursaries and grants was awarded this year, a rise of £116,000 on the previous year.

New income streams were also noted and given credit for helping the business financially, including the revenue generated from the new Moxy Hotel which was completed in late 2018. The project has been undertaken on RHASS land, with the hotel being built upon an area of ground that was reclassified in 2017 as an investment property, and this year has seen an increase of £0.2 million in its value to £3.9million.

RHASS chairman James Warnock said: “RHASS is in a solid financial position through the robust management of our assets. The Royal Highland Show continues to drive revenue as does our events business, the Royal Highland Centre. New revenue streams, including rental income from the Moxy Hotel, will ensure we remain a sustainable organisation through prudent financial management.

“Our charitable remit is to promote and protect the interests of rural Scotland and this drives our activities including the provision of awards and grants which increased this year.”

“The trustees have approved the decision to replace the former MacRobert Pavilion with a new purpose-built space and members’ facility. Construction started in January 2019 and is scheduled to complete in April 2020 with a total build cost of over £5 million. This cost will be financed through our own resources and fundraising from members and stakeholders, underpinned by development funding provided by RBS."