It's our Past President!

Laurence Skelly MHK opens the Emporium accompanied by
Gill Anderson, Town Centre Manager for Douglas Development Partnership.

The Department of Economic Development is delighted to announce a new public and private sector initiative between the Castle Street/Marine Road Traders Association, Douglas Development Partnership (DDP) and the Department of Economic Development (DED).  The partnership will develop a programme of events throughout next year and its first event is the Christmas Emporium which opened last night and will be running for four weeks in the lead-up to Christmas, each Thursday evening, to coincide with late night shopping.
One of the main objectives of the Emporium is to emphasise how important it is for Isle of Man residents to ‘shop local’ bearing in mind the large ‘multiplier effect’ that each locally spent pound has on the Isle of Man’s economy.  The Castle Street/Marina Road area of Douglas town centre will be bursting with festive cheer as local businesses pull together to display a vast array of unique specialist crafts and locally produced food.  To add to the festive atmosphere, street entertainment, including a carousel, and festive music is provided for everyone to enjoy.
Stall holders will include a selection of Department of Economic Development’s small business start up scheme clients, existing businesses and their associates.  The smart black stalls used at the Emporium have been purchased by Douglas Development Partnership and will become a familiar site around the town centre.  The intention is that they will be used for a wide range of functions in the future.
The market was opened by Political Member for the Department of Economic Development with responsibility for Retail, Laurence Skelly MHK.  He said:
‘I am delighted that the Emporium is proving such a great success.  It’s wonderful to see three organisations from both the public and private sectors take the lead in this new venture.  It will also serve as a platform for local suppliers and retailers to promote the quality and range of local goods to Island residents and visitors alike.
‘It is extremely important that we encourage Island residents to ‘shop local’ to boost the economy and the Christmas market will encourage community interest in a festive and enjoyable atmosphere.’
Paul Caine, Manager of Faze 2, said:
‘The Emporium is a great initiative.  It has most certainly brought more people to Castle Street and the atmosphere is buzzing.  Traditionally this part of Douglas has been quieter than the Strand Street area of Douglas and the beautiful lights surrounding the Christmas stalls and festivities have definitely livened up the area.’