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New Freedom to Flourish Initiatives 2 March 2007

Our national identity flourishes on close working relationship between community and government

“Cooperation between our community and government has become a hallmark of the Isle of Man’s strategy to enhance our national identity at home and abroad,” said Chief Minister Tony Brown MHK today, as he announced a package of joint private/public sector initiatives that will put into action the values and messages of the Freedom to Flourish programme.

The most significant of these initiatives was the creation of an Isle of Man Champions scheme, a key partnership initiative between the private and public sectors. Early recruits to the scheme are the Steam Packet Company and Manx Telecom.

“Champions have a vital role in making the strategy work”, said the Chief Minister. “As leading Island businesses they live the brand through what they do - providing an environment where both employees and clients can reach their full potential. Champions have a role in promoting the Isle of Man by incorporating the Freedom to Flourish values and messages in their advertising, press relations, brochures and websites. They can add their weight to the consistency, accuracy and power of the Isle of Man’s good news story”.

The scheme will also help to achieve private sector funding which can be used to assist small businesses and volunteer groups as well as to contribute to the Isle of Man’s joint communications and promotional efforts.

Mr Brown expressed his appreciation for the support the Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce has given to the strategy in general and the Champions scheme in particular, through its president Stuart McCudden.

The role of Government in facilitating the strategy has not been forgotten in these initiatives. The Chief Minister introduced a set of guides which has been produced to give practical advice not just to Champions but to all those who are involved in promoting Isle of Man products and services and those who want to communicate the Island’s advantages more effectively to the outside world. The guides, which offer advice and tools for creating and delivering consistent and effective marketing and promotional materials, are available as CDs and on the Freedom to Flourish website: www.gov.im/cso/flourish.

The Chief Minister also provided details of a scheme, the Kenya Experience, designed to give Island young people who have left formal education at 16 and have not had a traditional “Gap Year” experience, a special chance to fulfil their potential. Through the generosity of local organisations, including Isle of Man Bank, the H & S Davidson Trust and the Golden Jubilee Trust, they could have the opportunity to develop their citizenship skills and broaden their horizons by working on an aid project in Kenya this summer. Young people, between the ages of 18 and 24, who may be interested in this valuable experience, are invited to check the Freedom to Flourish website for contact details.

A firm of local advocates with an international reach, Cains, is sponsoring a competition to encourage both amateur and professional photographers to capture the essence of what it means to live in the Isle of Man. Andrew Corlett, one of the firm’s directors said, “Cains are delighted to sponsor this exciting competition. Globalisation presents a huge challenge to all nations: how to achieve a dynamic economy whilst at the same time maintaining a cohesive society. The Isle of Man is extremely fortunate that it still has such a vibrant network of clubs and societies together with a strong sense of community engagement. A self -confident, secure and inclusive country is also highly attractive to the type of external investment the Isle of Man needs in order to prosper in today’s fast changing world.”

It is expected that these images will ultimately be used in local and international promotional efforts to illustrate the Island’s strong community spirit.

“Nations, regions, islands and cities around the world are keen to raise their international profiles with the goal of improving their economies. The Isle of Man is no different in these aspirations” the Chief Minister said, “but what sets us apart from most is the depth of commitment to achieving these goals which is shared by the community and government.

“Our national identity will be further strengthened through the private/public sector cooperation these latest schemes demonstrate”, he added. “I am pleased that we continue to have the community’s valuable support as we show the world that the Isle of Man is an outstanding place in which to live, work and invest”.

Background

The strategy for enhancing national identity has been developed through lengthy research and consultations over the past three years. At its heart are a set of values and messages that are summarised in the phrase “Isle of Man. Giving you freedom to flourish”.

Implementation of the strategy is being lead by the Chief Minister with the support of a committee that draws its members from government, local businesses and community groups. It oversees the development of projects and events to promote the island’s national identity and considers policies that would help to create the environment in which business and residents may flourish.

From the beginning, the development of a strategy to enhance the Isle of Man’s national identity by strengthening social cohesion, by protecting and growing economic success and by nurturing the Island’s unique cultural heritage has been a substantial collaborative effort between government, business, the media and community groups.

Further information on the strategy’s values and messages as well as the Champion scheme, Kenya Experience for young people and photographic competition can be found at www.gov.im/cso/flourish

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