The former marine laboratory in Port Erin has been sold by the Department of Infrastructure.
The property has been bought for £500,000 by Delgatie Limited, which plans to replace the existing buildings with a mixed use development including residential, retail, non-retail and commercial. An exhibition space is included in the developer’s proposals, as well as visitor accommodation in the form of self-contained suites.
Agreement has also been reached for the company to improve the appearance of land at the front of the property which will remain in the possession of the Isle of Man Government.
The sale involves two and three-storey buildings which are linked. The original dates from 1892, with a laboratory added in 1932 and a library, teaching laboratory and dive centre constructed in 1980.
The buildings have been unused since 2006 when Liverpool University vacated the site and were extensively damaged by fire in December 2016.
Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer MHK said:
‘This is great news not only for Port Erin but for the wider Island as the developer’s plans aim to provide fantastic facilities and business opportunities as well as an attractive venue.’
Enterprise Minister Laurence Skelly MHK said:
‘Port Erin is seeing lots of interest and investment and I’m delighted that this transaction is moving forward. The Department will continue to support the redevelopment of this prime site as part of its wider drive to creating a supportive and inclusive environment that allows businesses to thrive and flourish.’
William Smedley, spokesperson for Delgatie Ltd, said:
‘We at Delgatie are delighted to have the opportunity having won the bid for the Marine Biology site and buildings to develop a high-quality multi-faceted scheme which will enliven the area, the local environment and create a place of enjoyment for those who visit, stay and live at what we will call “The Breakwater”.’
The sale fulfils a commitment in the Programme for Government to consider the social and economic benefits when disposing of government property and land.