A capital programme set at £159 million will focus spending on a range of schemes aimed at delivering a lasting legacy for the people of the Isle of Man.
More than £540 million is scheduled to be invested over the next five years, demonstrating confidence in the Manx economy and providing a platform for growth.
The Island’s response to climate change is among the most prominent areas of funding, along with improvements to transport infrastructure and maintaining vital services.
In addition to the £5 million revenue-funded Environmental Protection Fund, the £5 million capital-funded Climate Change Mitigation Initiatives Fund will empower Departments to initiate innovative measures that support the actions and objectives of the independent Climate Change report compiled by Professor James Curran.
A further £6.4 million will be channelled into the rolling 25-year programme of climate change adaption designed to deal with the effects of rising sea levels.
Bill Shimmins MHK, Treasury Member with responsibility for Capital Projects, said:
‘The capital programme this year is one which looks beyond the immediate future and provides a platform for change which will benefit generations for years to come. It reflects the times we are living in and its emerging challenges, our community’s priorities and playing our part in a global emergency.
‘In addition to addressing our responsibilities around climate change, funding is being focussed on schemes which will modernise the way we live, work and travel, emphasising the Island’s reputation as a confident, forward-thinking society which empowers its residents and cares for the vulnerable.’
The project to build the Isle of Man Ferry Terminal in Liverpool has now reached the construction phase and the facility is due to be completed and welcoming its first passengers by summer 2021.
Isle of Man Airport will see major investment in the refurbishment of ground services and installing a replacement runway landing system.
A total of £46m has been allocated to highway schemes over the next five years, including residential roads which are set to benefit from targeted investment designed to address minor issues and prevent long-term damage.
Investment in Active Travel will see £2m committed to working with schools and workplaces, and developing routes in Douglas, Onchan and Braddan. Improvements will also continue on the Heritage Trail, including the section between St John’s and Kirk Michael.
The emergency services will see equipment replaced to keep pace with modern policing techniques, and funding for new ambulances, fire appliances and police vehicles to help keep our Island safe. Provision has also been made to enable investment in the communication system used across government - including police, fire, ambulance and Coastguard - and is crucial to the Island’s ability to respond to a major incident.
The provision of respite services will be modernised after £1.75m is invested in redeveloping Radcliffe Villas for those with learning disabilities.
Regional health facilities will be improved with £472,000 invested at Peel Medical Centre for additional space to cater for increased patient numbers and to allow it to be used as a GP training centre.
Reflecting the Island’s UNESCO Biosphere status, a new nature reserve will be created on a former landfill site at the Point of Ayre at a cost of £80,000 in a joint project with Manx Birdlife. The Island’s national glens and footpaths will also receive further investment in paths, play areas and car parks.