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Summerland Update 14 April 2004

Minister for Tourism and Leisure, the Hon. David Cretney, MHK, has provided a comprehensive update to Tynwald Members on the progression of redeveloping the Summerland site.

The Minister explained:

"At the time I was intending to conclude negotiations with Henry Boot Developments Ltd. by the end of March in order to enable me to place proposals before the May sitting of Tynwald. I would advise, however, that notwithstanding a lot of goodwill on both sides, the Department and Henry Boot Developments Ltd. have not been able to reach a mutually acceptable contractual position on a Development Agreement. Accordingly, I have to advise that the joint venture redevelopment of the Summerland site with Henry Boot Developments Ltd. will not now proceed."

Although this is a disappointing outcome, in terms of timescale the Department still believes that it can put together a redevelopment project for the landmark site which involves a healthy mix of leisure and commercial uses. The Minister added:

"We remain committed to the principle of a mixed use redevelopment of the Summerland site anchored by public leisure facilities and firmly believes that this is still achievable within the broad financial parameters of the original proposal, albeit without Henry Boot Developments Ltd. as a partner."

In order to take matters forward, the Department has agreed with the Council of Ministers that:

  • The Department will proceed with the demolition of Summerland and the stabilisation of the cliff face at a timescale determined by planning approval, agreement with the adjoining landowners, practicalities of demolition, and, of course, Tynwald approval to the necessary funding.
  • The Department and Treasury, in consultation with the appropriate professional advisers will investigate the feasibility of putting together a revised development project for the Summerland site.

The Minister added that:

"I am aware that whilst the concept of redevelopment enjoys broad support there are Honourable Members who would wish to see different elements included or excluded. Amongst other things the review will provide an opportunity to revisit the scheme content and I would welcome any views from individual Members."

Whilst the Department remains very positive about the development, one consequence of the inevitable delay is that there is no way that a TT Experience visitor attraction can be in place for the TT Centenary in 2007 and the Department will now look at alternative ways of celebrating the Centenary.

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