18 July 2014
Over the last couple of weeks, I have been lucky enough to get involved in the Central Douglas Master plan – the plan which sets out the vision for the Island’s capital, Douglas.
Having spent quite a lot of time in towns such as Oldham and Altrincham which have both seen major investment and improvements over the last few years, I can honestly say it is one of the most important things to happen to the Isle of Man in many years. Regeneration is central to improving the quality of life of the local people as well as those who will live on the Island in the future.
Whilst I love the many benefits of living on the Island, (a beautiful countryside, short commutes and amazing people to name a few) I miss having a wide choice of places to shop and eat at some of the bigger branded cafes and restaurants that the UK offers. The Isle of Man will never be London and neither would I want it to be, but having spent the last weekend in Harrogate and York watching the Tour De France, I'm reminded again of how amazing the Island could be if we had more choice, in terms of where to eat and drink, what to do and where to shop.
Having more shops and restaurants wouldn't mean I stop shopping locally. In fact, it would be quite the contrary. Having a wide choice would mean I visit Douglas more often, stay there longer and, more than likely, spend more money than I currently do. So, I am really excited to be involved in the chance to actually make this happen.
The Master plan underpins everything the Department of Economic Development is trying to achieve in terms of growing the economy, and it spans across all the economic sectors we develop and promote. I can’t wait to see the plans turn into reality!
The Central Douglas Master plan can be found here.