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Mayor highlights need for engagement in multicultural Capital

Wednesday, 29 March 2023 09:33

Investing in the City: an opportunity to celebrate what we have and to shape the future of the Island’s capital.


That was the theme of the Mayor’s inaugural Business Breakfast this week as she urged the public and private sector to work together to unlock Douglas’ potential.


More than 50 invited guests heard Her Worship speak about the pride and prestige felt within the local authority after city status was bestowed upon Douglas as part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.


Mayor Councillor Janet Thommeny,J.P. told the assembled audience at Douglas Council Chamber that, while such an accolade – to be formally conferred later this year – did not come with any particular rights, it brought a kudos towards building a fit for purpose capital and developing a stronger sense of civic pride.


‘There is no question that Douglas has the potential to become a centre of enterprise and innovation,’ she explained.


‘A place that can attract greater numbers of new businesses, new investors and visitors; a city which provides opportunities for economic growth with the potential to bring economic and social benefit’ to the capital. Being a city can provide inspiration, drive and encouragement for investors in the capital and in the Isle of Man more widely.


‘We want to engage with everyone and find out how we can help us all to work together for the place we call home, a place we all have a stake in.’


Her Worship went on to refer to what she considers the city’s triple threat - diversity, connectivity and greenness – and said one of its greatest assets is its community spirit.


Highlighting her personal wish for more money to be invested in youth services, she continued: ‘On a personal note, I have now lived here for 33 years and seen increasingly that people integrate and it's truly multicultural. We do not have pockets of one community.

‘We are all citizens, whether residents or business owners and workers, and we all want Douglas to be a city of opportunity and a place where we are proud to live and work.’


In closing, Her Worship issued a call to action: ‘So many of us intertwine already and there has never been a better time for meaningful partnerships which benefit our quality of life and doing what we can to protect and enhance our all-too fragile and vulnerable natural environment.


‘There is a real opportunity to embrace change and look ahead with confidence and ambition. By keeping the communication channels open, we can very much shape this city and embrace a shared a vision of what we want that future to be. I thank you all for giving up your time to join us and for your commitment to Douglas.’


Madam Mayor also welcomed the guest speaker for the event, Head of Local Markets at Barclays Isle of Man, Colette Johnston, who delivered an engaging insight into Barclays and how it continues to invest in Douglas.


A year after the Bank celebrated its centenary in the Island – an occasion acknowledged with a reception hosted by Douglas Council to mark a century of service in the capital – she outlined the changing face of the bank on the high street over the past 100 years, stressing the wide-ranging role it is playing in the Island community in support of an array of local causes and businesses.