THE UK’s most northerly racecourse gives a £11.8 million kick to the Scottish economy every year, it is claimed.

An economic impact report released today has found Perth Racecourse supports the equivalent of 130 full time jobs, boosting the local area to the tune of £9.9m annually.

Chief executive Hazel Peplinski said the team is “extremely proud” of its impact.

Records reveal racing at Perth dates back to 1613, but the facilities at Scone Palace Parklands opened in 1908, meaning they are now moving into their 100th year.

The track is the UK’s most northerly and welcomed crowds of more than 50,000 to its 15 race days last year.

Today’s report is based on Scottish Government measurement models and covers both racecourse activity — including spectator spending, entry fees, media rights, sponsorship and more — and off-course expenditure by racegoers in local bars, hotels and restaurants on race days.

According to the findings, 75 per cent of audience members come from outwith the council area. While most are from other parts of Scotland, five per cent travel from England and other countries.

It generates around £3.4m in taxes and national insurance, with more than half of these collected in Scotland.

The figures are based on takings during 2016, during which The Lodge hotel opened at the course.

Peplinski 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 £11.8m 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 £9.9m of revenues and the equivalent of 110 full-time jobs being delivered in Perth and Kinross alone.

“We are extremely proud of this strong economic impact which is testament to the support we enjoy from so many — from our loyal racegoers and corporate clients to the faithful owners and trainers who travel great distances to provide the brave participants of our sport.”

The venue will host the three-day Perth Festival in April, with Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw playing after racing on April 27.

Peplinksi said the racecourse is “full of excitement about the season ahead.”

She added: “We look forward to working with all our partners to ensure Perth racecourse continues to contribute to the economy.”