Tesco’s purchase of Shoprite will continue to benefit the island’s community initiatives and charitable causes.

This is according to the Minister for Enterprise Tim Johnston, who confirmed that his department is in constant dialogue with Tesco ‘on a range of matters’.

Speaking during Tuesday’s House of Keys sitting, Mr Johnston said: ‘I would like to place on record my thanks to the local Tesco management team for continuing to engage positively with the Isle of Man Government.

‘Following the acquisition of Shoprite, I’m advised that Tesco remains committed to supporting the local economy, not only in terms of stocking local produce as seen recently with products from four new local businesses appearing on shelves, but also continuing to support charitable causes and other local businesses.

‘By way of example, this will include the continued sponsorship of Manx Radio’s TT coverage as well as ongoing local advertising and promotion using local media businesses and outlets.’

Mr Johnston also highlighted that Tesco have charitable initiatives in place within their stores on the island, such as the ‘stronger starts’ campaign.

This scheme is open for schools, registered charities, and non-profit organisations to apply, with priority given to projects that focus on ‘food security’ and support for young people.

In the island’s Tesco stores, customers can then vote for their favourite charity using blue tokens at the checkout.

Explaining how well the initiative is doing in the island, Mr Johnston said: ‘This programme provides grants of up to £1,500 to individual charities, which are awarded every 12 weeks.

‘To date, over £217,000 has been awarded to over 100 root causes through this scheme, with a significant increase expected as additional stores open across the island.

‘It is also hoped that a formal partnership can be established between Tesco and the Isle of Man Foodbank in line with the Tesco Community Food Collection programme.’

Back in October 2023, Tesco’s purchase of all Shoprite stores in the island was confirmed, increasing the number of Tesco stores to 10 including its existing store on Lake Road in Douglas.

Three of the nine new Tesco stores have already opened in Castletown, Douglas and Ramsey. The most recent opening was the Tesco St Paul’s Express in Ramsey, with £1,000 being donated to the Queen’s Pier Restoration Trust – a community group working to reopen the historic Ramsey pier - in celebration of the opening.

Tesco has previously stated that it hopes all Tesco Express stores will be open before the TT fortnight, with it ‘tackling’ the bigger stores in Onchan, Peel and Ramsey, as well as Winerite in Douglas, after TT.