Manx public has say on how to spend £1m

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SOME 114 responses were received by Manx National Heritage after they asked for the public’s views on how to spend the largest bequest it has ever received.

Colby resident and Manxman Donny Collister, who died in 2007 at the age of 93, left an estate in the region of £1 million.

The consultation invited people’s views on options, projects and activities falling within the remit of the Manx Museum and National Trust which could be partly or wholly funded by the bequest.

MNH director Edmund Southworth said: ‘We are delighted with the breadth of feedback received from across the island with suggestions ranging from the display of Mr Collister’s WWII memorabilia to supporting community and gardening projects, building conservation and wildlife projects amongst many other things.

‘The consultation has certainly provoked a significant amount of thought and discussion on how Mr Collister’s bequest could be utilised for the benefit of the local community and visitors to the Isle of Man.’

The responses will be reviewed by MNH’s newly formed trustee body. It hopes to provide feedback to respondents later this year.

Mr Collister was a master painter who served in the Second World War with the Manx Regiment in Crete and North Africa. He was a keen grower of fruit and vegetables, an active supporter of Laa Columb Killey and well-respected in the community. He was proud of his military heritage and the wider heritage of the island.

• MANX National Heritage is looking at the possibility at opening the Manx Museum, in Douglas, to visitors on Sundays.

It comes after it opened the doors to the museum on two Sundays in July.

An MNH spokesman said: ‘Initially this was stimulated by the desire to support the visitor experience in Douglas on a Sunday, when two large cruise ships were visiting the island on July 15 and 29 July but it also gave us the opportunity to do so cost effectively for everyone to enjoy, knowing that we would have a core audience from the visiting ships.’

Between 200 and 300 visitors went to the museum each day, both residents and passengers from the Marco Polo and the Quest for Adventure cruise ships.

The spokesman added: ‘If more Sunday openings can be achieved in the future in a beneficial and cost efficient way, as these recent two have been, then further consideration will certainly be given to the possibility.’

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