Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Treasury minister 'confident of due diligence on investments'

Still from Me and Orson Welles Image copyright CinemaNX
Image caption Period drama Me and Orson Welles was partly filmed in Douglas after receiving funds

The treasury minister has refuted claims the Manx government makes mistakes when investing, stating "due diligence" is always done.

Alfred Cannan told a committee looking at losses from the Media Development Fund there was now "suitable scrutiny".

The fund invested nearly £60m in film projects between 2007 and 2016 and made losses of about £27m.

MHK Kate Beecroft previously said despite those losses, there was a "constant repetition" of mistakes.

Former chief minister Allan Bell told the committee in October "radical tax changes" in the UK in early 2012 led to a decline in the island's film industry.

In June of the same year, Tynwald approved a multimillion-pound deal with Pinewood Shepperton studios.

The deal, which came to an end in 2017, saw the government purchase £24m worth of shares in the studio and move management of the MDF to the studio.

The investments included the 2008 feature film Me and Orson Welles, starring Zac Efron and Christian McKay, which lost the government more than £9m.

Mr Cannan, who voted against the Pinewood proposals, said he "was never a fan" of the deal and had questioned the potential benefits it would bring to the island.

He added that the treasury always had a role to play as a "safeguard" and going forward, it was important to go into potential investments with "eyes wide open".

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