The Isle of Man Government has announced it has terminated its contract with a merchandising firm.
At the start of 2023, the Department of Enterprise announced that Cube International Ltd had won the contract to produce and supply all official merchandise for the famous Isle of Man TT Races.
The sports retail, e-commerce and licensing business replaced the Isle of Man's Motorsport Merchandise as the event's official merchandise supplier after winning a tender from the government.
The contract allowed Cube to design, source and sell official Isle of Man TT merchandise to retailers, official events shops and online.
Based in Worcester, the company had previously supplied official merchandise for the World Cup, the Commonwealth Games, World Athletics, LIV Golf, Rugby League World Cup, Aston Martin and Williams Formula 1 teams among others.
In August, the firm said it was already developing a 'new range of Merchandise for the 2024 Isle of Man TT Races'
The government has today however announced today that its contract with Cube International has been terminated with immediate effect due what it called a 'breach in terms', saying it had 'not taken the decision lightly'.
Tim Johnston MHK, Minister for Enterprise, said: 'The Department has been required to take this action as Cube International Ltd have failed to fulfil their required financial obligations attached to this contract within the stipulated period and are in breach of their contract terms.
'The decision to terminate has not been taken lightly and is the result of circumstances that have rapidly become untenable, however the provision and supply of official merchandise plays an essential role within the TT’s overarching strategy and is also a key source of income for many retailers as well as the Department and it is our responsibility to act to protect the interests of all involved parties.
'It is acknowledged that the termination of this contract will be unsettling for many of the Island’s businesses and retailers and whilst the Department works to facilitate the essential supply and delivery ahead of the 2024 TT Races, the priority of the Department is to work closely with those that will have been impacted by the termination of contract.
'The Department has been in contact with all wholesale retailers and suppliers that have worked with Cube International Ltd prior to the contract termination being announced publicly and intends to continue to work collaboratively and transparently in order to secure the continued delivery of product ahead of 2024.'
Back in August this year, it was announced that a subsidiary of Cube International Ltd - called Cube Partnership Ltd - had gone into administration.
Records held by Companies House in the UK showed that Cube Partnership had debts of over £2m when it appointed liquidators back in July.
When news of the subsidiary firm's closure broke, Cube International Group's chief executive officer Andrew Graham said that its companies had managed to 'successfully deliver at the Isle of Man TT’ despite the partnership 'carrying too much debt'.
It also said that Cube International Ltd was continuing 'to trade through the historic challenges'.
The Department for Enterprise says it will now run a full tender process for the appointment of a new long term partner with timelines that will ensure the production and licensed supply of Official TT merchandise ahead of the 2024 event and beyond.