I’m sorry about the loss of service – I went away for the weekend and my computer conked out. We’re looking forward to seeing the Chief Minister, the Treasury Minister and the Attorney General in Washington this week.
Here are some snippets:
Mark Cavendish won the first two stages of the Tour de France (on the real Tynwald Day and the official Tynwald Day). He was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal last week by an American rider who considers him very beatable. Hmm.
Economic report highlights Island’s resilience
THE quality and diversity of the Isle of Man’s economy is providing resilience at a time of unprecedented global turmoil, according to the latest quarterly economic report to the Council of Ministers.
The publication, relating to the period January 1 to March 31, highlights a number of local business sectors that are continuing to perform strongly. E-gaming is identified as the activity with the most potential for further expansion, with significant growth predicted during 2009.
There are also positive indicators for space commerce, shipping and aircraft registration and aerospace engineering. It is hoped that these growth areas, in particular e-business, will provide employment opportunities for any Island workers displaced from the financial services sector.
Overall, the quarterly report presents a mixed picture, with a challenging year ahead forecast in banking and tourism, along with certain aspects of the construction and manufacturing industries. The Island’s jobless total stood at 947 at the end of March which represents 2¼% of the economically active population.
The report states:
‘This compares favourably with the UK rate of 6.7% and the corresponding average EU rate of 7.6%.’
The current economic climate is also reflected in the work permit figures, with the number of new permits issued falling by 520 – about 33% – compared with the same period in 2008. In light of market conditions, additional scrutiny is being applied to new applications for roles in some sectors where there is an availability of suitable Isle of Man workers.
The quarterly report also confirms that the Island’s housing market is starting to feel the effects of the economic downturn. While the average sale price over the past 12 months was 4.9% higher than in the previous year, that figure has increased only marginally – by half of one percent – over the first quarter of 2009.
Treasury Minister Allan Bell MHK said: ‘This latest quarterly report confirms that the economic slowdown is having an impact on the Isle of Man. However, the Island is currently not in recession and the economy is expected to grow by 2.5% in the year ahead. The diversity of our economic base and quality of our niche sectors is providing great strength and demonstrating that the Island can respond positively to changes in the global environment.’
Message from Charles Wilson: More here on his story.
We start on Tues 7 Jul in the Pyrenees.
Found another Manx connection (IOM gets everywhere)
There is a memorial at the site of a Halifax bomber which crashed high in the Pyrenees killing 6 men.
Our guide, Scott Goodall traced the living relatives of the crew. A Sergeant Hurley, an engineer on the flight has a niece Lyn Quirk, living in Kirk Michael! I have a memorial cross to place for her – amazing coincidence
Welcome to COAST month
The Isle of Man is playing host to an action-packed month of coast themed activities throughout July. Events are taking place throughout the Island aimed at raising awareness of the richness and diversity of marine life around our shores.
Coast month has kicked off with the Manx Queenie Festival which is now in full swing with a varied programme of events including cooking demonstrations by Celebrity Chefs Mitch Tonks and Mark Hix, recipe competitions, fun days, community events and barbecues. The festivities will end with ‘Marine Day’ on Saturday 4th July and Port St Mary Beach Day on Sunday 5th July. For more information on the Isle of Man Queenie Festival check out www.queeniefestival.com
Throughout July the Department of Tourism and Leisure will be producing four video clips showing aspects of coastal activities around the Island, the first of these clips going live this Friday 3rd July. This will be followed by a new one every Friday for three more weeks. The clips will be a snapshot of events taking place throughout July, including the Queenie Festival and the Viking Festival, attractions such as dolphins and basking sharks and activities including diving and kayaking.
National Whale & Dolphin Week is taking place from the 18th until the 26th July and public sighting days will be on Saturday 18th and 25th and Sunday 19th and 26th. There will be manned sites at Port St Mary ledges, the Calf and Niarbyl on the two weekends. Over a dozen Risso’s dolphins and three or four killer whales were spotted only last Saturday near Cow Harbour. Five Risso’s dolphins were also spotted near the Chicken Rock.
The Department of Tourism and Leisure has also hosted and arranged visits for three television crews during the last couple of weeks. A crew of five from BBC2’s Coast programme came over to the Island to film for an episode in the Isle of Man, with presenter Neil Oliver. The Isle of Man will feature in their next series during 2010. They filmed at locations Island wide including Peel Castle, Laxey Wheel, Maughold Head and The Tower of Refuge.
A crew of four from the production company ICON Films have also been over to film for BBC ‘The One Show’ with presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff. They went in search of dolphins with John Galpin of Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch before heading to the north of the Island to investigate more about the Irish elks. Both crews have informed the Department of Tourism and Leisure that they have captured some fantastic footage.
Tourism and Leisure Minister Hon Martyn Quayle MHK said:
‘The Isle of Man has a unique coastal and marine surrounding. Wildlife enthusiasts come from countries far afield to see the large variety of species of birds, seals and dolphins that live around our waters. Throughout the month there will be many coastal themed activities happening around the Island and I hope visitors and locals alike will take advantage of the beautiful coastline by taking part in the activities planned.’