Beach Buddies – Hong Kong

Beach Buddies has created its first international branch, and will hold its first event outside the British Isles this weekend – 6,000 miles away in Hong Kong. The event is the culmination of years of work behind the scenes to share the success story of the Manx charity and the transformation of the Isle of Man’s beaches. The Hong Kong branch has been set up by Manxman Nick Thompson who has lived and worked there for the last 30 years.

Nick said: ‘Hong Kong’s coastline is incredible, but is very messy in places. I’m not looking to make a song and dance about it, just get on with it in our local area and see where it takes us.’

Beach Buddies founder Bill Dale added: ‘This is a massive step forward for us. We have been working on a similar project in Hong Kong for around two years, bringing Isle of Man companies together in the area. But it wasn’t moving forward and for obvious reasons the Covid pandemic has impacted on everything.’

Domestic Event Fund Rolls On

A gov funded initiative offering local authorities, businesses, individuals and charities island-wide financial support has been extended to support developing local events throughout spring and summer.

Event organisers can continue to apply for up to 80% of the total costs associated with the development of domestic focused events. All eligible events such as local markets, festivals, shows, concerts must be focussed on increasing domestic spending through driving footfall into the island’s towns. Qualifying costs include equipment, entertainment, marketing, insurance, health and safety, and an event organiser.

Minister for Enterprise, Laurence Skelly said: ‘I’m delighted to announce the extension of the DEF until the end of September. For many towns and villages, local events play a key part of their strategy to bring in visitors and increase spending in nearby retail and hospitality businesses. With many large island events cancelled and ongoing travel restrictions affecting the 2021 peak season, it is vital that we continue to support our domestic businesses as much as we can.’

Shennaghys Jiu

This year’s Celtic Youth Festival Shennaghys Jiu has been cancelled. Organisers said: ‘It’s hard to believe that another year will be passing without seeing all our many friends and supporters, but although we’re disappointed we are not deterred and are determined to make 2022 a truly fabulous festival based around friendships, families and community.

We had hoped to be in a position to run a scaled back version of the festival this year with our super local artists and had already had two new exciting events lined up for the weekend. Unfortunately due to the latest lockdown time and other mitigating events we have been left with this difficult decision.’

Go on Holiday, But Don’t

The UK gov is at it again as two ministers have given directly opposing statements on what Brits will be able to do for a holiday this summer. Transport Secretary Grant Schapps told BBC Radio 4 that people should not plan any holidays this year. However Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said he is going to Cornwall this July for a family holiday. 

Too Little Too Late?

An extra £3.5bn has been promised by UK ministers to remove unsafe cladding from high-rise buildings, almost four years since the Grenfell Tower Fire killed 72 people. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said it was the ‘largest ever government investment’ in building safety. However the Labour Party has said it is ‘too late for many’. Ministers have come under growing pressure to increase the pot as leaseholders have been hit by building improvement costs and soaring insurance costs.

I’m Not a Cat

If you haven’t seen it, a Texan lawyer has gone viral after he appeared on a Zoom call with a cat filter on. As his assistant tries to rectify the issue, he can be heard saying: ‘I’m here live, I’m not a cat.’ You can see the video here.