Arbory, Castletown and Malew MHK Jason Moorhouse’s bid to reinstate the Senior Race Day bank holiday has made its way onto the Tynwald order paper for April.
Mr Moorhouse first announced that he would seek support to switch the bank holiday back from August to allow for a celebration of island life following a recent House of Keys sitting.
His motion reads:
That Tynwald is of the opinion that Senior Race Day 2021 should return to its original calendar date to encourage the creation of a two week celebration of Island life.
Speaking to Gef, Mr Moorhouse said when he initially approached businesses and residents with his idea, ‘many people do not see the massive opportunities which this change potentially offer, but once they have thought about the associated “Celebration of Island life” and how this might help energise the island after the incredible dredge of two lockdowns this year, they start to see the real possibilities.’
He added: ‘Many of the small local businesses that have been struggling massively are really quite excited, especially when they think about the possibility of getting a share of that £5m increase in spend directly fuelling their dreams and getting things to the next level, after so many months of things simply being on hold.
From my perspective this support is really important, because the limited time to plan means that a significant amount of the work will have to be done by local businesses. It is a simple idea which could generate real benefits for so many people who will simply need a slight ‘nudge’ to get them out there.’
Before that sitting of Tynwald, the Keys are due to meet next Thursday, with Mr Moorhouse due to ask Treasury Minister Alf Cannan: ‘What advice he took before he decided to change the date of the Senior Race Day Bank Holiday?’
He will also ask Enterprise Minister Laurence Skelly: ‘When the Department consulted local businesses and others for their opinions on the impact of shifting the 2020 Senior Race Day Bank Holiday; how the Department advertised the consultation; and when the findings were published?’
When Mr Moorhouse asked Enterprise Minister Laurence Skelly during a recent Keys sitting if he would consider moving the bank holiday from August back to June, Mr Skelly said it was not under consideration. He added that as it might be possible for tourists to visit the island in August it would be of extra benefit then.
Douglas South MHK Claire Christian also suggested that two three day weekends would be of better benefit to the island’s businesses than one four day weekend in August. But Mr Skelly said that the feeling was that last year’s Super Manx Bank Holiday had worked well and that some local authorities were already planning to run events during what should have been the TT fortnight and those will support the local economy.