Since the agreement with Government to sell the Nunnery in October 2013, the Manx Educational Foundation (MEF) has made substantial progress with its proposals to develop the International Centre for Technology, a private educational facility providing leading Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and business skills.
To date, the MEF has raised millions of pounds in funding from private sources both on the Island and internationally. As a result of this progress, the Government has agreed to extend its agreement to sell the Nunnery to 30th June 2014.
Minister for Economic Development John Shimmin MHK commented:
‘I’m delighted to announce that the Council of Ministers has agreed a three month extension to the exclusivity arrangement with the MEF for the purchase of the Nunnery site.
‘This scheme is now progressing at such a significant rate that I am now confident the scheme will be realised and the many benefits can be achieved. I would like to thank those who have believed in the project and who have now backed this up with financial contributions.’
‘This extension allows a little more time for the MEF to finalise its fundraising efforts. As a result, it is expected that the MEF will shortly be submitting plans which will allow everyone to see how this ambitious project will be implemented and how it can make a very real difference to the DED efforts to grow our economy.
‘The MEF is a social enterprise supported by many leading local firms, several very generous individuals and also foreign investment funding from China which cements our growing relationships with that country.
‘This project offers all the ingredients we are looking for to help establish the Isle of Man’s ‘Tech Isle’ strategy as outlined in Vision2020, which is our ambitious vision for growth in our economy developed with the private sector. Vision2020 highlights that the e-business sector offers the Isle of Man more growth potential than any other sector. The single biggest challenge we face in realising this potential is achieving excellent ICT skills. MEF’s proposals will therefore make a very substantial contribution to achieving Vision2020, generating additional jobs, assisting businesses expansion and increasing Government income.
‘I hope that the broader public will support this scheme, which will be totally funded through the private sector and private individuals. This is a key point when we are trying to grow the economy whilst also balancing Government’s budget.
‘I believe the MEF is now pulling together a tremendously strong team who will deliver the project through its construction phase, the academic process and will ensure full financial credibility.
‘This project represents a true partnership approach between Government and the business community. I now look forward to other major parties in the community now seeing the benefit of this scheme and joining us in realising what I believe will become a vital asset to the economic future of our Island.’
Kurt Roosen, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the MEF commented:
‘We have made substantial progress since we obtained our period of exclusivity from the Council of Ministers last October. We are particularly pleased with the level of support that is developing locally alongside our investments from China and the UK as this shows the true global nature of the project.’