Tuesday, October 24, 2017
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Tourism Development Fund Relaunched 16 July 2004

The Department of Tourism and Leisure is re-launching the Tourism Development Fund.

The Fund aims to support people investing in tourism premises by increasing quality bed spaces for both tourist and business visitors, including film crews. It also encourages the provision of facilities for people with a disability and rural tourism, especially farmstay.

The Fund has proved cumbersome to administer since first introduced in August 2000 but now a streamlined scheme will continue to provide grants to encourage tourism development.

Tourism Minister David Cretney said:

"We felt the scheme was over complicated - both for people applying for a grant and for the Department to administer. The result of overhauling the scheme is that a simplified procedure has been devised and a dedicated Helpdesk has been set up for queries.

"The grant scheme also ensures local businesses benefit from the increased building works."

The Helpdesk telephone number is 686810. In addition, prior to applying for a grant, the DTL offers a free advisory service for anyone considering developing tourism premises through the Island's Registration and Grading Commission which can be contacted on 664552.

Department Chief Executive Carol Glover commented:

"Being new to this post, I was keen to listen to feedback and respond with improvements to the fund where possible. The fund scheme was introduced against a backdrop of a decline in the number of bed spaces, and the knowledge of where we would like to be. Our aim is that the Tourism Development Fund will help drive us towards our target, and especially that it will encourage investment in three and four star hotels and de luxe self catering premises in rural locations."

Beneficiaries of the scheme to date include Angela McCluskey at the Glen Mona guest house on Mona Drive, Douglas. Mrs McCluskey commented:

"I bought the property with my partner Ian Caines in 1998 and received a grant of almost 60,000. The building work cost more than expected, actually totalling nearly 200,000. But it has enabled me to convert from 17 old-style rooms into a 12 room guest house which meets modern standards, including two de luxe rooms with a jacuzzi bath and sitting area. We'd be happy to use the scheme again if we wanted to do any more alterations to the property."

The scheme also aims to encourage the development of rural tourism. Martin Cowley and his wife Alison Cregeen converted a near derelict barn into a four star self catering unit which can accommodate four people. Edd Gollan Geayee (meaning Swallow's Nest) is located at Cordeman Road, St Marks.

Mr Cowley said:

"We've been here 13 years and started looking at converting the barn a few years ago. Peel builder George Ingham started work in January 2001 and it opened in June 2001. I received a grant of 18,000, although it proved a little bit more expensive than anticipated as these things always do. We have been very happy with it - it's booked solid from Easter to October, with winter bookings too. We advertise in the Holiday Guide and get a lot of bookings through our website which the Department was also very helpful with."

Anyone interested in finding out more about the scheme should contact the Tourism Development Fund Helpdesk on 686810.

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