Perth Racecourse yields £11.8m for local and national economies, says independent report

Perth Racecourse benefits the Scottish economy to the tune of £11.8 million annually – with £9.9 million of that impacting locally – and provides the equivalent of 130 full-time jobs, according to a new economic impact report commissioned by the racecourse and produced by 4-Consulting.

The report uses Scottish Government measurement models and shines a light on the huge benefits the UK’s northernmost track brings to the local and national economy.

There are two main drivers of economic activity; the racecourse itself – primarily through spectator spend, hospitality, entry fees, retailer income, media rights, the betting levy and sponsorship – and off-course expenditure by racegoers in the local area on race days, such as in hotels, bars and restaurants.

More than 50,000 spectators attended Perth’s 15 race days in 2017, equating to a daily average crowd of 3,340.

Of Perth’s total spectators, the report found that 75 per cent arrive at the Scone venue from outside Perth and Kinross – 70 per cent from elsewhere in Scotland and 5 per cent from further afield, mainly England. However more than 80 per cent of the £11.8 million total revenues generated the previous year remained in the local economy, underlining Perth’s position as a significant visitor attraction and contributor to the economic prosperity of the region.

Other key findings of the report were that Perth makes a £3.4 million contribution to government revenues (taxes and NI) with more than half of those collected in Scotland and directly assigned to Scottish Government or the local authority.

The report follows the recent announcement that Perth’s total prize-money for 2018 will be a record £1.25 million, helped by an 18 per cent rise in its own executive contribution and representing a 35 per cent year-on-year increase overall.

The racecourse’s economic value was further boosted by the 2016 opening of its bespoke hotel, The Lodge, which welcomes visitors throughout the year attending weddings, exhibitions and conferences on-site, as well as catering for travelling stable staff on race days.

Along with Owners’ entry fees, on-course retail revenues, media rights, the Horserace Betting Levy and sponsorship income streams, this diversification into accommodation provision contributed to the racecourse’s generation of £6.4 million (£5.7 million locally) of economic impact in 2016, the report said.

Away from the track, the economic impact of Perth’s off-course expenditure totalled £3.7 million (£2.5m locally) in 2016, while development revenues, such as the breeding, training and ownership of racehorses, and media activities added £1.7 million, resulting in the overall economic impact figure of £11.8 million.

Hazel Peplinksi, chief executive at Perth Racecourse, said: “The team at Perth regards itself as very fortunate to be an ‘exporter of fun’, bringing quality sporting enjoyment to those who share our passion for horse racing. However, what this comprehensive and independent report has uncovered is the current economic value of Perth Racecourse. Due to the scale, which may surprise many, one cannot deny that Perth Racecourse has become a major exporter to the rest of Scotland and beyond.

“Within those huge figures of £11.8 million overall economic impact and 130 full-time equivalent jobs, what is really pleasing to see is how much of that is spent locally and benefits other local businesses, with £9.9 million of revenues and the equivalent of 110 full-time jobs being delivered in Perth & Kinross alone.”