EDINBURGH’s giant Fort Kinnaird shopping centre contributes around £90 million to the Scottish economy annually according to a report which makes a case for out of town retail parks amid concern about their impact on the High Street.

The estimate comes from a consultant’s report that takes account of the role the centre by the A1 plays in the Edinburgh economy and the spin off benefits it generates for the rest of the country.

Commissioned by property giant British Land which manages Fort Kinnaird, the report highlights the important role the sprawling centre plays in the Edinburgh labour market.

It found 2,000 people work on the site, one of the biggest out of town centres in Scotland. Fort Kinnaird is home to more than 70 shops and leisure outlets operated by household names ranging from clothing giant Primark to restaurant chains such as Frankie & Benny’s.

The centre accounts for five per cent of all the retail jobs in Edinburgh and one in every 200 total jobs in the city.

The wages concerned and the business created for the local supply chain help Fort Kinnaird generate £53m annually for the Edinburgh economy.

The centre also creates demand for goods and services in areas such as transport and building management supplied by firms in other parts of Scotland and other benefits worth around £38m in total.

Centre tenants pay around £7m business rates in total annually.

Thw director of the centre, Liam Smith, said: “Thousands of people visit Fort Kinnaird every day but few realise the huge contribution the centre makes to local families, the surrounding neighbourhood and the wider Scottish economy.”

Mr Smith noted the part the centre has played in helping many people to return to work or to get their first jobs.

The Recruitment and Skills Centre supported by British Land and public sector bodies has helped 3,200 people into work since it was launched in 2013.

The retail park opened in 1988 in a former mining area and has expanded significantly. It has more than 2,600 parking spaces.

The expansion has faced opposition from city centre retailers concerned it will take shoppers away.

Investment giant M&G bought a 50 per cent stake in Fort Kinnaird from the Crown Estate for around £170m this month.

The report on Fort Kinnaird’s impact was prepared for British Land by Regeneris Consulting.