THE STATISTICS behind the Royal Highland Show are quite staggering and often go unsung, but are worth sharing.

It is thought that the show itself injects £65m into the Scottish economy in one form or other and much more besides from the many other events hosted at Ingliston.

There will be 6000-plus animals at the event from more than 2000 exhibitors and they will be seen by between 180,000 and 190,000 visitors – only 40% of which are involved in agriculture.

That makes it a great shop window for the industry on a few levels. On one, it acts as a vital link between an increasingly distinct industry and the general public; while on another it shows them, literally, where their food comes from in the 'farm to fork' display that is evidenced across the showground. And that's before you take into account the agricultural trade itself.

One of its leading officials commented: "Sponsorship allows us to do what we need to do. The 60% of urban visitors generate the cash to help us deliver the things we want." That looks like a sound plan – and one which, sadly, the Royal Agricultural Society of England so heinously lost sight of, thus depriving us of one of the greatest agricultural events in the world.

But it looks like the RHASS success story will continue, too, with the announcement that it is to build a new members' (as yet to be named) pavilion following the demolition of the MacRobert Pavilion which served the show well, but had become out-dated and tired.

This will be welcomed by the show's 16,000 members – which co-incidentally matches the bar capacity of the entire show! Some are already questioning if it will be large enough in its proposed single storey footprint on which the two-storey MacRobert sat.

Time will tell if that is the case, but there certainly is a strong argument both culturally and financially for the society to invest in such a structure. Apart from the four-day Royal Highland, the centre plays host to 200 other events throughout the year, from dog shows, to AgriScot, which will make use of it. These other events generate a healthy £1.6m for RHASS.

Also, we should not forget that a lot of the society's work goes on behind the scenes. It has, for instance, one of the most important agricultural archives in the world within Ingliston House and it is also a staunch supporter of its own Royal Highland Education Trust – which delivers real farming into the Scottish education system – and RSABI, the benevolent organisation which has never had a busier year than this past one.

The industry has a lot to be thankful for.