An arm’s length, government-owned property development company made a near £450,000 loss in the last financial year – with more than half of that figure going on wages.

But bosses at the Manx Development Corporation insist that the aim is to become profitable, with revenue to form its first project, the redevelopment of the former Nurses’ Home, expected to come on-stream during 2024-25.

MDC was set up in March 2021 with the remit of being the catalyst for the regeneration of brownfield sites. It operates at arm’s length from its sole shareholder, the Treasury.

A £50m loan facility with lender Lloyds Bank, and Treasury acting as guarantor, was approved in February this year. It can be extended up to £100m.

In its first year, the company made a £179,000 loss. But latest accounts show this rose to £448,274 in the 12 months up to the end of March this year.

Chairman Sean Gilbert said this should come as no surprise. He said: ‘As would be expected for a property development company that has not yet completed any developments, MDC made a loss for the year of £448k.

‘We expect revenue from our first development to come online during the 2024-25 financial year. It remains the objective of the board to over time become profitable and to create a dividend stream to our shareholder, the Isle of Man Treasury.’

The accounts show that a total of £273,074 was spent on wages and salaries in 2022-2023, up from £69,675 the previous year, and directors’ fees rose in the same period from £50,203 to £67,880.

As Media IoM reported last week, MDC has spent £2m buying up property in a site earmarked for a major property development. But its application for the Westmoreland Village scheme, comprising 133 new homes, has yet to be approved by planners.

Two wholly-owned subsidiaries were set up in 2022-23, FNH Ltd and WMV Ltd. FNH made a net loss of just under £150,000 while WMV’s losses were £2,500.