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 Government gave MGP the Green Light

The Manx Grand Prix organisers decided to call off the event even though the government had effectively given the road racing extravaganza the 'amber light'. It's understood the Council of Ministers backed plans for the race meeting to go ahead on the scheduled dates, August 18-31, providing certain precautions were in place and farmers were consulted.

However, despite the support of ministers the Manx Motorcycle Club scrapped the event following a recommendation by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and consultations with interested parties including the farming community. The news, will be another huge blow to tourism in the Island following the cancellation of the TT races earlier in the year.

A tourism related recovery package which aims to help businesses which face severe and lasting damage as a result of the TT calcellation or foot-and-mouth restrictions will be extended to cater for those suffering from the scrapping of the MGP. Chief Minister Donald Gelling said: 'We appreciate that this was a difficult decision for the race organisers, taken after full consultation and advice.

I'm sure we all look forward to next year being a full season of racing in the Isle of Man and that this dreadful disease will have been eradicated in the UK.' He added: 'The government understands that the cancellation of such events will create problems for the tourist industry and related activities and a further support scheme is to be presented to the July sitting of Tynwald next week.

'This is part of a package of measures designed to sustain the industry through this very difficult year.' Tourism bosses had put forward plans for the MGP which would have aimed to reduce the risk of foot-and-mouth.

But DAFF advised that it should be cancelled altogether, which illustrates that the chasm between the tourist industry and the agriculture industry is wider than ever.

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