Isle of Man News - POSTED Mon 24-09-2018

SPARK goes out for government as contract is terminated

by TH

SPARK goes out for government as contract is terminated

Government has terminated a contract with the people who run the Enterprise Development Scheme.

The contract with SPARK Impact has been cancelled early – it should have run until 2021.

Enterprise Minister Laurence Skelly says: "The EDS was created to further support the development of starting, growing and relocating businesses in the Isle of Man against a backdrop of unemployment and financing issues faced by companies.

"Since then our economy has changed and we have committed in the Programme for Government to a full review of all the Department’s support schemes which will be completed by October 2018.

"As part of this we have been working with SPARK Impact to review the EDS and consider the future shape of the scheme.

"While the scheme has been successful in some areas, it has not met the full expectations of either party and in the three years since conception the Island’s economy has evolved to a different, stronger position.

"Our economy has grown by 7.4 per cent in real terms during 16/17, unemployment has halved since 2016 and we have a more proactive entrepreneurial ecosystem in place.

"Consequently we have now both agreed to an early termination of the current contract with effect from 18th January 2019.

"SPARK will continue operating the scheme until then." 

Mark Borzomato, Investment Director at SPARK Impact, says: "We have enjoyed working in the Isle of Man and have met with over 200 great companies over the past two and a half years.

"We have appreciated the support from the department and wish the businesses supported by the scheme the very best success for the future.

"Despite the successes, we agreed with the Department that the EDS should be reviewed.

"We have been pleased to assist the Department for Enterprise both with our experience of similar funds and our experience of the last two and a half years to further tailor the scheme to the Isle of Man’s specific needs."

"While the scheme has been successful in some areas, it has not met the full expectations of either party and in the three years since conception the Island’s economy has evolved to a different, stronger position."

Laurence Skelly MHK, Enterprise Minister

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