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taxpayer is loser as TT FINANCES REVEALED

Questioning by a member of the Isle of Man’s House of Keys parliament has elicited financial details of both the TT in June and August’s Festival of Motorcycling — incorporating the Classic TT promoted by the Island’s government and the Manx Motorcycle Club’s Manx Grand Prix.

Figures come from the past 2014/2015 fiscal year and therefore relate to the TT and Classic TT events in 2014. The TT that year cost £4.66m to put on and generated direct revenue of £2.06m, resulting in a notional loss to Manx taxpayers of £2.6m.

Among outlays, the biggest expenditure was on administration, totalling £1.74m. Race organisation and course preparation added a further £1.61m. Start money and travel expenses for star riders, along with the prize fund, came to £1.16m. TT Grandstand and paddock facilities required £335,000.

Set against that was income including £1.02m raised from sponsorship and hospitality, £609,000 earned from TV coverage and website licensing, and £296,000 generated by commercial activities associated with the Grandstand.

The Festival of Motorcycling, still a relatively new proposition and therefore investment-hungry, cost £1.61m to run and produced just £111,000 in revenue. Race and course expenses were £769,000 with £348,000 spent on administration. The Grandstand/paddock area soaked up another £244,000. And although no prize payments are awarded to Classic TT riders, start money and travel expenses for an influx of star contenders amounted to £240,000.

The major pay-back elements were £60,000 from sponsorship and hospitality, and £29,000 from ticket sales and trade presence at the Grandstand. TV/web coverage was negligible, yielding only £1700.

These numbers are limited to funds passing through the Manx government’s Department of Economic Development accounts. They don’t allow for an approximate £250,000 spent annually by the Department of Infrastructure on TT track resurfacing and other improvements.

More pertinently, they don’t reflect the overall contribution of either event to the Manx economy, which is far more substantial thanks to copious spending by a steadily growing volume of TT and Festival of Motorcycling visitors. Of course, a plump proportion of that also returns to Isle of Man government coffers through VAT returns, plus fuel, tobacco and alcohol excise duties.  

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