The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo appoints Chief Operating Officer to deliver new era of growth

October 26 2018

Rucelle Soutar named as Chief Operating Officer for The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

In a move to accelerate its ‘Strategy for Growth’, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has today named Rucelle Soutar as Chief Operating Officer (COO).

In the newly created role, Soutar, who has worked with the Tattoo for five years as Head of Finance, will lead the Tattoo’s senior management team to deliver on ambitious plans for audience development and commercial growth at home and abroad.  

She will drive the operational activity that will give substance to the Board’s plans to double Tattoo turnover to £20 million by 2025, increase global audience and reach to more than one billion across multiple channels and sustain charitable giving at £1 million each year.

Chief Executive, Brigadier David Allfrey, explains: “This is a landmark appointment for the Tattoo.  The appointment of a Chief Operating Officer will help us leverage even better the human capital we have in the business while setting the throttles on our annual programmes both in Edinburgh and abroad.

“Our Board has set a fine strategy for business growth over the coming years and Rucelle will bring this into being, playing a key role in developing our business into a world-class brand operating on the world stage. She has delivered remarkable results as Head of Finance and now steps up to lead a growing team, to oversee all our operational output using her acumen, knowledge and experience to build momentum and agility in new commercial partnerships. In her new role, she will also continue to deliver on our exciting plans for the annual August Show, our commitment to charitable giving, and returns on investment and influence.”

Chief Operating Officer, Rucelle Soutar, said: “This is an exciting time for the company and a huge privilege for me.  I’ve seen what we as a business are capable of, continuing to develop and grow over the past five years, and I am thrilled to play a key role in driving our vision of success, building our brand and expanding the global footprint of our business. For me, the opportunity to continue building a business of the size, stature and significance of the Tattoo was to be seized. I’m excited about our vision and ambition, and my role is key to giving more people the opportunity to enjoy the wonderfully rich and exhilarating Tattoo experience more often and in evolving forms.“

Having already staged hugely popular shows in Australia and New Zealand in the last 15 years, the Tattoo aims to significantly develop its operations by securing overseas tours in China, Australia and Canada from 2019 onwards. The ambition to attract a global audience of 1 billion across multiple channels by 2025 - a tenfold increase - is the next step in change for the organisation whose annual Edinburgh show is hugely popular but is bound by the physical size of the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade at 8,800 seats per nightly show. 

The Tattoo sells 220,000 tickets for its Edinburgh show each August, generating £77 million annually for the UK economy and a further £30 million value added in full-time employment. The 2016 performances in Australia and New Zealand generated more than 240,000 tickets sales and the shows delivered a combined estimate of £50 million gross economic impacts to the cities of Melbourne and Wellington.