The Department of Economic Development (DED) is to seek the approval of Tynwald to appoint UK events company Vision Nine as the promoter of the TT and Classic TT Races.
Vision Nine has targets that would see spectator numbers for the TT and Classic TT grow significantly by 2026 while generating double the economic benefit for the Isle of Man and a DED saving of £23 million.
Minister for Economic Development, Laurence Skelly MHK, commented:
"The TT is a huge part of our local identity and brings the Isle of Man recognition and visitors from around the world. In recent years, the Department has greatly improved the event's marketing, operations and safety as well as economic benefits and Government income. In doing so, we have talked to many parties and are convinced that additional expertise and investment is necessary if we are to improve the visitor experience, grow our coverage and reach a wider audience."
"Vision Nine plans to partner with ACUE (existing race delivery team), North One (TV Production) and world leading sports TV distributor, IMG. They have industry-leading skills in developing events and will have third party investment to fund essential innovations. Their appointment would also remove significant cost for the Isle of Man Treasury and taxpayer, with the local economy benefitting from increased visitor spend and footfall. I also believe their appointment will further drive growth in the Festival of Motorcycling and MGP with the continued support of the Manx Motorcycle Club."
David Cretney MLC, the Department's political member with responsibility for Motorsport commented:
"This decision is essential for the continued growth and evolution of the TT races. As a lifelong supporter, and having been central to the decisions that have seen the current success of the TT, I believe we now need to take the next steps. The appointment of a promoter partner will give the TT the investment and innovation needed for it to thrive and grow for the next generation. I will be working closely with Vision Nine and their partners to make sure we retain our core TT audience as well as increase visitors to the Island via a new, global fan base."
Gary Thompson MBE BEM, Clerk of the Course, TT Races said:
"On behalf of ACU Events Ltd, we would be pleased to work alongside Vision Nine who have been identified as the preferred Bidder for the Isle of Man TT and Classic TT festivals. While there may be some changes with regards to the promotional aspects of the TT, the Race Organisation, the delivery of the practice and race schedules and the overall safety and marshalling of the event will not be compromised and from a Race Organisers point of view it will be 'business as usual."
"ACU Events Ltd will continue to carry out the Risk Assessment process, review the safety of the TT Mountain Course prior to the event and deliver the TT Races in the same way and we look forward to working with Vision Nine in taking forward the TT Races into a new era."
Julian Topham, CEO Vision Nine, commented:
"We are very pleased to be identified as the preferred partner to drive the Isle of Man TT forward. We will be working alongside the Department of Economic Development and all key stakeholders to enhance visitor experience and grow the TT races and their coverage. We will also continue to work with the army of volunteers who bring such a significant contribution to the event.'
The selection of Vision Nine follows a formal tender process, commenced on 2nd November 2015, to identify an independent partner to take a significant level of operational, promotional and commercial delivery responsibility for the TT and Classic TT races. The proposed contract is for a period of 10 years with an option of a further 5 year extension. Their appointment would begin in 2017 with the 2016 TT and Classic TT going ahead as planned."
Tynwald will be asked to approve the appointment of Vision Nine at the April sitting of Tynwald.