The politician with responsibility for motorsport has moved to clarify the position regarding the TT merchandising contract.

Tim Crookall said the contract remains active despite the liquidation of the Cube Partnership Limited.

The firm replaced island-based Motorsport Merchandise as the official supplier for TT merchandise just over eight months ago.

In January the government announced: ‘The Department for Enterprise has entered into contract with Cube Partnership for the licensed supply and production of official Isle of Man TT Races merchandise.’

Records held by Companies House in the UK show that the company had debts of over £2m when it appointed liquidators in July this year.

But in a statement, the DfE maintained the contract had been signed with the parent company Cube International but had been executed by the subsidiary for a short time.

Cube’s own press release from January 25 announcing the award of the contract has been amended to remove references to Cube Partnership.

Tim Crookall MHK, political member with responsibility for tourism and motorsport, said: ‘The department is happy to clarify that it has not been affected by the liquidation of Cube Partnership Limited, and has been kept informed by the parent company, Cube International Limited, throughout this process of developments.

‘Cube International Ltd initially tendered for and successfully were awarded the merchandise contract. There was a brief period where the contract was executed with the subsidiary company and this was reflected in a press release that was issued in January 2023, although this was novated back to the parent company before this year’s event and as such remains fully effective and operational today.

‘Since being awarded the contract, Cube International have delivered the 2023 TT merchandise collection online, on-event and to a number of retailers, with additional ranges in the pipeline. The contract between the Department and Cube International continues to be actively in place and they remain a valued partner.’

The department has been asked to provide a copy of the contract.

Chief executive of Cube International Group, Andrew Graham insisted that the parent company insists it holds the contract - and has already developed a range of merchandise for sale at TT2024.

He said: ‘Despite the forecasts providing a more positive outlook, the reality, on the back of a Covid Pandemic, and a less than positive economic position, was not such a positive story and I can confirm that we have closed Cube Partnership.

‘It was clear that Partnership was carrying too much debt, with ineffective strategic realignment to manage a way through it in the timescale necessary.’

He added that the wider group, including Cube International Ltd, ‘continues to trade through the historic challenges and has successfully delivered at the IoM TT’.

Mr Graham also said that Cube International is ‘already developing a new range of Merchandise for the 2024 Isle of Man TT Races and is looking forward to sharing these designs with Isle of Man based retailers shortly so that they can place orders and provide merchandise for their customers in 2024’.