Commercial property: Shopping centres make their mark

Fort Kinnaird Edinburgh
Fort Kinnaird Edinburgh

Large retail and leisure sites can have a hugely positive impact on the area’s economy and two sites in Edinburgh are highlighting the benefits they bring to the city.

A report released by Fort Kinnaird, the retail park, has underscored the significance of the centre’s contribution to Edinburgh and the Scottish economy as a whole.

With 14 million visits in 2017, Fort Kinnaird has seen its recruitment and skills centre help 3,200 people into work over the past five years.

In Edinburgh, one retail job in 20 and one job in every 200 is now supported by Fort Kinnaird, and the site directly employs a total of 2,000 people, contributing £53 million annually to the Scottish economy in gross value added.

The Fort Kinnaird recruitment and skills centre was formed in 2013 with the support of parent company British Land and in partnership with Capital City Partnership, City of Edinburgh Council including Business Gateway, the Department for Work and Pensions, East Lothian Council, East Lothian Works, Mid-lothian Council and Skills Development Scotland.

Participating employers among Fort Kinnaird’s 70 shops and restaurants have included Marks & Spencer, JD Sports, Primark, Odeon and Fat Face.

The report, Assessing Our Contribution, found that the positive impact of Fort Kinnaird goes beyond employment and training, with 1p in every £3 in Edinburgh’s economy generated by the centre.

This equates to 1p in every £25 in the Scottish economy.

The report also highlighted that £7.2m of business rates were paid by Fort Kinnaird to the Edinburgh council in 2017, equalling 2 per cent of the council’s total collected.

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

“Our investment in the community is creating a significant positive impact.”

Fort Kinnaird has plans for further investment and development in coming years.

Meanwhile, the company behind the new Edinburgh Marina development has today confirmed that the number of permanent jobs created, as a result of the £500m waterside project, will exceed the figure previously estimated by Edinburgh council in 2016.

As a result of phase one alone, which includes the new marina and hotel, the number of permanent job opportunities available was previously expected to reach 300 in council projections.

The latest details released by the developer show that phase one will now produce more than 400 permanent employment opportunities.

In addition to the increased number of new jobs provided by the Edinburgh Marina development, the percentage of affordable homes that will be delivered throughout the scheme is far in excess of original expectations and well timed to assist with Edinburgh’s need for this type of accommodation.

The marina will be operated by Camper & Nicholsons Marinas.

A spokesman for the developer said: “We are very pleased that we can deliver such a significant number of new permanent jobs at all levels from apprentices through to senior management.”

Dan Hughes, chief operating officer of Camper & Nicholsons Marinas, said: “There is no doubt that the marina brings economic benefits to the area, not only through direct employment, but also in the spin-off and secondary employment which will blossom.”