Move to get top-up cash for tourism fund

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AN application to replenish the depleted Tourism Development Fund will be made ‘this side of Christmas’, the Economic Development Minister has said.

The Super League Triathlon received £200,000 from the fund

The Tourism Development Fund was allocated £10 million in 2002 to promote and provide grants to organisations and events that would bolster the Island’s tourism industry.

Recently, £200,000 was made available from the pot to secure the Super League Triathlon, with the rest of the £1.3 million needed to host the event coming from sponsorship and the organisation.

However, that £200,000 payment has left the fund virtually empty for future investments. Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnham said that his department would be putting together proposals to replenish the fund using money set aside for economic growth in the most recent Medium Term Financial Plan.

In order to secure money for the fund, his department would have to make a formal application to the Treasury Depart – which the minister said he expected would happen before the end of the year.

Speaking during States question time this week, Senator Farnham said: ‘I have been on record a number of times saying I think the Tourism Development Fund is extremely important for the sector and I am keen to see it replenished.’

He added that the recent triathlon event – which saw 50 of the world’s top triathletes competing around the Waterfront – had proved the benefits of the fund but had also given more to the Island than just a boost for the tourism industry.

‘I hope Members would agree that it went above and beyond that – it is not all about the money and the event was a great success,’ he said. ‘Those are world-famous athletes who immersed themselves in our community for a week and I thank them for that.’

He added that the fact that the athletes visited schools and local sports clubs would have long-lasting benefits for the Island’s aspiring sports stars.

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