Tourism, 5G and the America’s Cup were all on the agenda for Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, in a recent visit to the Island. His tour took in visits to Cowes, Tapnell Farm and a trip up the Medina to see blade production at Vestas.

The visit was organised by the Island’s MP Bob Seely, who briefed the Secretary of State on the work of Venture South, the Island’s cultural investment company. Oliver Dowden also heard about the Isle of Wight’s desire to bring the 37th America’s Cup to the Solent, as well as the importance of arts, culture and tourism to the Island’s economy.

“We wanted not only to highlight the importance of the Island to the UK visitor economy but also to explain the impact Covid has had on tourism-dependent businesses here,” Bob Seely said.

“We were able to share with the Secretary of State how money from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport is being spent on the Island with the rollout of rural broadband, the development of a 5G hotspot in Cowes and we fed back how important Culture Recovery Funds had been to Island arts businesses.”

Front row, from left: IW Chamber Chief Executive Steven Holbrook with UKSA’s Ben Willows and the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, with Bob Seely MP (right)

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