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'No objections' to Royal British Legion collecting at TT Grandstand, says DfE

Political Member for Motorsport contacts charity after fundraising concerns

The Department for Enterprise says it has told the Royal British Legion it has no objections to it collecting from around the Grandstand during TT.

It follows claims made online that the charity was told it could not have fundraisers in the area, unless it paid thousands of pounds for a permanent pitch.

In a statement to Manx Radio, the department says: 'Due to the number of charities requesting a trade pitch during TT each year, in the interest of fairness the Department implemented a policy in 2010 to no longer offer trade spaces to any charity.

'The only exceptions to this policy' it says 'are charities which are intrinsically linked to the TT Races (such as the Joey Dunlop Foundation), which are required to make an application through the normal channels and pay a reasonable fee for the pitch.'

Read the statement in full below:

'Each year the Department strives to ensure that trade space available at the TT Grandstand is filled by businesses which will enhance the visitor experience, including ensuring a wide range of quality food and drink and retail offerings.

'Available trade space is limited and the site is relatively small for the scale of the event, with the number of applications for space often exceeding the number of available sites.'

'Due to the number of charities which contact the Department each year requesting to obtain a trade pitch during TT, in the interest of fairness the Department implemented a policy in 2010 to no longer offer trade spaces to any charity.

'The only exceptions to this policy are charities which are intrinsically linked to the TT Races (such as the Joey Dunlop Foundation), which are required to make an application through the normal channels and pay a reasonable fee for the pitch.

'Charities with a permanent presence at the TT Grandstand are not charged separately during the event.

'The Department recognises that many local charities strive to utilise the increased number of visitors to the Island over TT to share information about their important work, and despite not being able to have a presence at the TT Grandstand, encourages them to take advantage of the many opportunities to engage fans elsewhere around the Island.

'The Department understands that each year visiting fans of the TT Races are renowned for being generous to local charities by donations made at charity events or other collections made on Island during the TT Races.'

Sarah Maltby MHK, Political Member for Motorsport and Visit Isle of Man, says: 'Recognising that the Royal British Legion has been visible for many years around the paddock, we have communicated that we have no objections to them collecting from around the public areas at the Grandstand over the event, accepting we cannot grant a permanent pitch.'

Regarding prices for trade pitches, the Department says: 'Prices for trade pitches at the TT Grandstand range from £3,000-£11,000 for commercial organisations, dependent on the type of business and aims to ensure a quality and diverse offering of food, drink and retail for visitors.'

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