North MHKs praised for promoting space

MEETING AND GREETING: Astronaut Michael Barratt signs autographs at the Lakeside Cafe at Mooragh Park in Ramsey

MEETING AND GREETING: Astronaut Michael Barratt signs autographs at the Lakeside Cafe at Mooragh Park in Ramsey

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THE island’s affiliation with the multimillion-pound space industry has largely taken off because of the efforts of the three northern MHKs.

That’s the view of Chris Stott, chief executive officer of Mansat, who made the claim during his visit to Ramsey last week.

The Manx born, Texas-based businessman, husband of astronaut Nicole Stott, is the son of stockbroker Brian Stott, and studied Space Science at university before going into business. He is working closely with the Manx Government to encourage space commerce.

In the last six months, the industry in the island has attracted around one billion dollars investment from countries such as the USA, Canada and Japan. This is as a direct result of tax agreements that have attracted a cluster of new companies and industries.

Speaking at the reception organised by Anne Craine MHK for visiting NASA astronauts to Ramsey on American Independence Day (July 4), Mr Stott was glowing in his praise of Ramsey MHKs Allan Bell and Anne Craine and Ayre MHK, Eddie Teare.

He said: ‘As Minister for Economic Development, Allan Bell is a fantastic statesman for the island. Much of the work he does is overseas, so is not seen here on the island. But I can tell you that as an economic ambassador for the Isle of Man he is unmatched. The incoming investment he has secured is staggering.’

He added: ‘Eddie Teare was the first ‘space minister’ when he was in Treasury and has continued to be a guiding light now that he is Education Minister, paving the way for Manx students to visit NASA via the Conrad Foundation.

‘Treasury Minister Anne Craine has encouraged us all the way.

‘All three have been to the International Space University. Collectively they have been instrumental in getting the space industry off the ground! That’s why we wanted to bring the astronauts to Ramsey.

‘In the past few weeks, they have met President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron – and now they have been to the Isle of Man to meet Chief Minister Tony Brown – and the people of Ramsey!’

The stars and stripes was flown as the four astronauts were welcomed to Mooragh Park as part of Ramsey National Week, with a Manx/American hybrid barbecue of burgers and kippers.

Other highlights of Ramsey’s ninth National Week included Songs of Praise in the Market Place, where a 200 strong congregation gathered beside the imposing Ramsey lifeboat.

A collection of nearly £400 was made which will be divided between the RNLI Ramsey branch, the Ramsey Town Band and the Royal British Legion Ramsey branch, who have their 90th Anniversary this year.

On Monday evening, around 150 people took part in the ‘Hike and Hot Dogs’ walk to the Albert Tower, where they were treated to hot dogs and traditional music from Ny Fennee, and a beautiful view of Ramsey bay.

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