William Grant Foundation Leads the Way in Supporting Piping and Pipe Bands

The Glenfiddich Championship

There can be few companies around that have done more to support piping than William Grant, the independent whisky distillers, writes the Editor.

True to the wishes of their founding philanthropist Sandy Grant Gordon, the company continues to pour money into our art, these days through its charity wing, the William Grant Foundation.

It states: ‘William Grant & Sons has always taken a long-term view to support its people, its communities and its business. Building on a long tradition of supporting community groups and charities, the company now sets aside 1% of pre-tax profits each year for use by the William Grant Foundation. This commitment is deeply rooted in the core values shared by the William Grant family and the company.’

The latest company figures to end December 2021 show a 12% rise in turnover to £1.41bn for the year with a 3% rise in profit to £248m after tax, compared to the previous year.

Grants to 88 organisations for 2021 came to £4,236,426.


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Figures publicly available on the Foundation website reveal the full extent of their contribution to piping and how this unerring support has continued over the covid period and helped piping to recover from what could have been a disaster for our music.

The foremost beneficiaries have been the Glenfiddich Piping Championship and the Piping Live Festival, both run by the National Piping Centre.

But there has been significant support for other events such as the popular Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships. It should be noted that these donations are not always for events during the year they were awarded. A look over the last four years of available figures yields the following:

May 2018: £20,000 Glenfiddich Championship
Mar 2019: £33,000 Glenfiddich Championship
May 2019: £32,000 Glenfiddich Championship
Feb 2020: £33,000 Glenfiddich Championship
Feb 2021: £30,000 Glenfiddich Championship

Jun 2020: £24,000 to the National Piping Centre for support for Glenfiddich
Jun 2021: £24,000 to the NPC for ‘support for piping championships’.
May 2018: £8,542 Stow Pipe Band
Nov 2018: £20,404 Isle of Skye PB
Aug 2018: £30,000 Larkhall Piping & Drumming tuition
Jul 2019: £11,667 Girvan Youth PB
May 2019: £7,000 Stow PB
Nov 2019: £1,377 Turriff PB
Oct 2020 £3,690 Dumfries Pipe Band

The late Mr Sandy Grant Gordon addressing the crowd at the Glenfiddich Championship

Dec 2020: £23,804 Dufftown PB
Oct 2020: £2,446 St Ronan’s Piping Society
Oct 2021: £3,324 Innerleithen PB
Oct 2021: £1,386 North Berwick PB
Dec 2021: £2,000 Isle of Jura Piping & Drumming Club

Feb 2019: £15,000 Scottish School Championships
Nov 2019: £15,000 Scottish School Championships
Aug 2022: £5,000 Scottish School Championships

Feb 2019: £32,920 Piping Live Festival
Mar 2020: £29,730 Piping Live Festival
Feb 2021: £29,730 Piping Live Festival
Mar 2022: £30,000 Piping Live Festival

Mar 2019: £2,500 Capt. John MacLellan Memorial Recital
Feb 2020: £4,000 Capt. John MacLellan Memorial Recital
Dec 2022: £4,500 Capt. John MacLellan Memorial Recital

When reading of this magnificent contribution to our music, I am sure the piping and pipe band world will feel obliged to raise a glass of the appropriate brand to William Grant & Sons. Long may their support continue.

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