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Chief Minister defends Sefton intervention

The Chief Minister has defended the Manx government’s decision to bail out the struggling Sefton Group at a cost to the taxpayer of £4.5 million.

It’s injecting an initial £1.3 million, repayable after five years, to stop the group going under.

Government says it has legal powers to assist companies under the Enterprise Act and its loan will help Sefton Group which is currently being restructured, 'to complete a comprehensive programme of debt reduction'.

A further £3.2 million of public money will be used to buy the landmark Middlemarch site in Lord Street in Douglas, which will then be leased back.

The Sefton Group employs 300 people in the Island's tourism, leisure and construction sectors producing a spend in the Island's economy understood to be worth than £7 million per year.

On that basis Allan Bell insists the funding intervention is justified:.

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