RSPBA Finances ‘Sound’ as Reserves Increase

The AGM of the RSPBA will be held on Saturday (March 9) and delegates will learn that the Association is in a healthy financial position.

The AGM Order Paper reveals that Association reserves stood at £721,522 for 2023 up from £630,950 the previous year, this despite ‘another exceedingly challenging period for the Association’.

The Worlds generated almost £260,000 in income against expenditure of £175,000. Figures for the other Championships show they all made a loss: Scottish – income £73k, outgoings £81k; Europeans: income £69k, expenditure £86k; UKs: income £77k, outs £89k.

Annual surplus from Championships was £92,572 (four majors). This contrasts with £120,481 in 2022 (five majors).  

Away from the Championships, there was trading income of £47k and investment income of £2k. £30,000 was repaid towards the Association’s loan. This stood at £100,000 as of February 2024. Staff wages dropped from £52k to £44k.

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‘The Board of Directors consider the financial position of the Association to be sound,’ says the paper.

The number of UK bands in RSPBA membership in 2023 was 230 with 63 affiliated from overseas. 

Retiring Chief Executive Colin Mulhern reports the last year at Lurgan for the UK Championships where ‘we have developed an excellent working relationship with the promoters….which allowed us to deliver excellent events. We hope at some point in the future that we may return.’ 

The Scottish will be at Dumbarton for at least the next three years 

The World Championships: licensing of the total area of Glasgow Green was again well received. 

Mr Mulhern confirmed the hosting of five Major Championships in 2024. ‘I am delighted to bring back the British Pipe Band and Drum Major Championships for 2024,’ he said. ‘We are reaching out to promoters to promote our championships for 2025 and beyond.’ 

The Worlds….the only Championship in profit

Governance and support costs decreased from £485,770 to £460,166. The decrease reflects principally existing staff, postage and IT cost reductions. 

As a result of the improved financial performance, year-end net assets increased to £721,522 of which cash and bank balances amounted to £410,885. 

The Association is very grateful to its sponsors for supporting the five major championships particularly bearing in mind inflationary pressures upon local authority budgets and current economic uncertainties.

As a more modest positive financial outcome is anticipated for 2024, close monitoring and control of costs will continue to be exercised. Other stats:

  • 123 band grading reviews were carried out
  • 165 pipers and drummers sat and passed exams
  • 2025 will see the development a two-round contest at one of the Major Championships 
  • The Pipe Band College has had ‘an extremely trying year’ and confirm a major review of its structure and business
  • 22 students attended a successful RSPBA Summer School

The RSPBA AGM will be in person and online at Washington Street HQ in Glasgow beginning at 11am. Bands who have not paid their annual subscription are urged to do so immediately. The AGM will be conducted on a ‘one band, one vote’ principle.

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