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Isle of Man TT world series plan remains viable, says minister

A TT world series is proposed to exploit the popularity of the brand

A TT world series is proposed to exploit the popularity of the brand

  • by Jackie Turley
 

A total of £121,878 has been spent so far on government plans to create an Isle of Man TT world series.

Economic Development Minister John Shimmin MHK was questioned on the initiative in the House of Keys this week.

Douglas North MHK John Houghton asked the Minister ‘just how enthusiastic he is’ towards the project.

Mr Shimmin told members that while over a year ago he was ‘very sceptical’ about the idea of exporting the globally recognised TT brand in case it was jeopardised, he now had cause to be ‘cautiously optimistic’.

‘It’s that very fact that makes it attractive to other destinations,’ he said.

Mr Shimmin said that it was too early to say exactly what format the TT world series would take, adding that it would see a series of road races on circuits around the world.

These would culminate in final round on the Isle of Man TT’s iconic Mountain Course.

The £121,878 has been spent on fees and expenses for The Sports Consultancy.

Outlining the work that has so far been carried out, the Minister said: ‘The progress made to date is the completion of an initial feasibility study, which concluded that such a series would be feasible as a commercial sporting concept.

‘The Sports Consultancy has begun work on developing the series concept including some commercial modelling of the event and some initial exploration of possible venues around the world.

‘Some work has also been undertaken to consider how the series could be effectively exploited by a commercial promoter.’

In February the DED was given approval by the Council of Ministers to progress the project up to the point of securing a potential commercial promoter to develop and implement the series.

Mr Shimmin said: ‘My department is now engaged in final contract negotiations with TSC and it is anticipated that a contract will be signed shortly.

‘Council will be given the opportunity of reviewing progress and making a decision as to whether or not to continue the project at key points before a promoter is appointed. The current timescale for the implementation of the series, should Council approve it, is 2017.’

The Minister said: ‘I recognise this is a complex and sensitive project, but one that offers the possibility of increasing the economic and fiscal benefits of the TT.

‘As a result, I think we have a duty to explore the idea.

 

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