An incredible festival of past and present motorcycling will be held in the Isle of Man during 2010.
The Manx Grand Prix Festival will incorporate the historic Manx Grand Prix races and a range of other popular bike events under one banner.
The Festival announcement follows an agreement between the Isle of Man Government and the Manx Motor Cycle Club. The aim is to maximise the potential number of visitors to the Isle of Man during MGP fortnight and capitalise on the growing interest in different eras of motorcycling.
The Manx Grand Prix Festival will showcase a wide range of activities into an integrated programme under a single brand identity.
As well as the MMCC’s races, MGP fortnight has, for many years, allowed fans to take in a wide range of motorcycle sport and heritage. Events include the Vintage Motor Cycle Club rally, the MGP Sprint at Ramsey, the Two Day Trial and the Classic Two Day Trial. The Festival of Jurby was introduced by the Vintage Motor Cycle Club during the 2009 MGP and attracted an estimated 7,000 visitors.
The visitor has always been offered a variety of race, road and off-road events and a choice of classic and modern machinery. More recently, the MMCC introduced a post-historic class for machines from the 1970s and 1980s, and the Festival aims to build on all of these themes.
During consultation with all organising clubs, each has indicated a willingness to be part of the new event and the Isle of Man Government is working with other clubs to add new events to the festival.
In respect of the MGP races, the agreement with the MMCC will see the club focus on organising and running the races while the Government will be responsible for event infrastructure - including course set-up and paddock management - and for the commercial management of the event.
Research commissioned by the Isle of Man Treasury Economic Affairs Division during the 2009 MGP showed the event attracted around 9,000 visitors to the Island, and this new agreement is designed to significantly increase those numbers.
Additional data provided by Manx National Heritage has also shown that a large proportion of those visitors also experience many of the heritage attractions during their trip, contributing to the local economy.
MMCC chairman Bill Bennett said:
“We are really pleased to have reached an agreement that will put a formal structure in place for how we can work together to maximise the potential of the Manx Grand Prix Races.”
“This allows the club to move forward with doing what it does so well - organising and running races - while securing a supportive relationship with Government.”
Martyn Quayle, the Tourism and Leisure Minister at the time of the agreement, added:
“We are looking not only to secure the future of the fantastic MGP races, but also to build an overall brand with a single identity to maximise the success of all the partners who put on events during the Manx Grand Prix period and to build an integrated programme that we can promote and develop to create activities that increase the number of visitors to the Isle of Man.”
“We will be working closely with all of the partners involved in the Manx Grand Prix Festival to make the new event even more than the sum of its already very successful parts.”