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The Department for Enterprise has welcomed the announcement of another key brownfield site in lower Douglas coming forward, supported in principle through the Island Infrastructure Scheme.

The proposal for the redevelopment of a brownfield site on Lord Street marks the fourth scheme that seeks to leverage substantial private sector investment, bringing the total private sector investment proposed through the first round of the Scheme to nearly £90million

A full planning application for the Lord Street development has been submitted and includes the provision of 85 apartments in line with the Island Plan’s ambition to deliver more housing, and importantly in our City and Town Centres and on brownfield sites. The significant mixed-use development also proposes a multi-screen cinema complex, restaurants and food hall, state of the art offices as well as a new indoor bus information centre with a waiting area for bus passengers, toilets and changing facilities and bus driver welfare facilities, all of which are designed to enhance the vibrancy and social offerings in the City centre for the community.

Tim Johnston MHK, Minister for Enterprise, commented:

‘I welcome these ambitious plans for the redevelopment of Lord Street, which seek to transform and rejuvenate this site in lower Douglas into a vibrant space for residential, leisure and commercial facilities.
‘Through the Island Infrastructure Scheme, I am pleased that we have been able to provide support in principle to this development, in addition to the previous three, designed to stimulate and accelerate the development of privately owned and unoccupied brownfield sites into buildings which contribute to the economic growth, prosperity, vibrancy, and sustainability of the Island.
‘Since the initial announcement last year, I am pleased to see the progress the first three developers have made, with Tevir Group receiving full planning permission for Villiers Square which is now progressing to the delivery phase in the coming months and planning in progress for their Ocean Castle development as well as Dandara’s Lake Road development.’

Launched in January 2023, the Island Infrastructure Scheme provides up to 25% funding of the eligible costs of the redevelopment in the Lower Douglas area– excluding land costs – which is only payable upon the completion of the scheme in line with any planning approvals and in keeping with the original Tynwald Approved Lower Douglas Masterplan.    

Dr Alex Allinson MHK, Treasury Minister, added:

‘Through funding from the Economic Strategy Board, we are supporting and incentivising private sector investment into our Island, aligning to the ambition to see £1bn invested over the long term, which in turn will allow us to further create an environment that is vibrant, sustainable, and attractive for all.
‘This support for private sector investment is a key aspect of this Government’s regeneration approach, complementing the direct efforts of the publicly owned Manx Development Corporation (MDC), which is advancing plans for government-owned brownfield sites and contributing to the overall revitalisation of brownfield sites across our Island.’

MDC also plays an important role in supporting the regeneration of Douglas, with construction underway for the former Nurses Home and progressing through planning for Westmoreland Village, creating 170 residential homes as well commercial and social developments. Further plans are also in the final stages of progress for a new multi-use car park at Parade Street and associated facilities to enable the regeneration of the area and crucially in direct support of the development of nearby sites.

The Treasury Minister added:

‘This further announcement is a significant milestone in regenerating brownfield sites into new developments and reflects the core principles of the Island Plan, aiming to build strong communities and ensure a more secure, vibrant, and sustainable future for the Isle of Man.’

In addition to Lord Street, the Island Infrastructure Scheme has provisionally supported funding for three other sites; two in lower Douglas, which will see the redevelopment of Villiers Square on Loch Promenade and Lake Road into residential and leisure facilities, improving the offering of our capital city and creating a more vibrant and inclusive future.

The final application supported in principle, Ocean Castle in Port Erin, seeks to provide residential accommodation, bringing the total proposed housing units supported through the Scheme to over 170, supporting the aim of 1,000 additional homes occupied by the end of 2026.