Challenging Perceptions: The Real Isle of ManWhen you think of the Isle of Man, the little Island in the Irish Sea, you may conjure thoughts of a pastoral land, boasting horse trams, extensive farm land and rolling hills falling gracefully into the ocean…
Okay, yes, we have all those things, but the Isle of Man is so much more than those old-time stereotypes.
The Isle of Man is a place steeped deep in history and heritage and it isn’t uncommon to see farmers and fisherman gathered at the local pubs, but it’s also a place of innovation and is on the forefront of many technological frontiers. It is a place of pure contradictions and juxtapositions, so let’s get down to it and clear up some of those commonly held misconceptions.
Stereotype #1: Isn’t the Island best known for farming and fishing?
Sure, we used to be and we are still super proud of this heritage - after all, our hardworking farmers and fishermen are responsible for keeping the Island (and many well-known restaurants further afield) well stocked in Loughtan Lamb, Manx Queenies and Manx Kippers!
But the bulk of the Isle of Man’s economy is from eGaming, insurance and financial services. The Isle of Man is a leading international financial and business centre with innovative and forward thinking legislation in terms of banking and cyber security, making it a perfect business destination for companies at any stage; from start-ups to established giants of industry.
The Island is also home to aerospace manufacturing, biomed research and innovation, along with a plethora of highly technical clusters thriving within our economy.
We’re also home to an award-winning food and drink sector, local artists and artisans and highly skilled musicians. The Isle of Man government recognises that a diverse economy is integral in maintaining steady economic growth and as such has implemented incredible funding and support schemes to assist businesses during all levels of growth.
Over the past two years, the Department for Enterprise has assisted in the creation of over 150 new businesses who each add a new and diversified flavour to the Island’s economy.
Stereotype #2: There is zero nightlife.
Wrong. This one is just wrong! New York may be the city that never sleeps and Vegas may hold claim as the ultimate party place, but the Isle of Man houses tons of artisan bars and eateries to satisfy even the most discerning of tastes. .
We have four breweries on the Island who each contribute to the heritage of our beers. It’s hard to argue with the calibre of your brew when it’s still made from quality standards set forth by an act of Parliament in 1874. The Manx Beer Purity Law, enacted by Tynwald in 1874, allows for only four ingredients in any ale: water, malt, sugar and hops. So, it’s safe to say that we take a lot of pride in our drinks.
We have amazing festivals that range from film to salsa dancing to food and drink- so there is always something to hit up on the weekends. The Island is full of clubs, adventure activities and nature to explore… there is no way you can be bored.
The Isle of Man is definitely a ‘work hard, play hard’ kind of place and we are all about living a balanced life.
Stereotype #3: You’re cut off from the rest of the world!
We’re actually super well-connected. Remember all that technology we mentioned? The Isle of Man’s infrastructure is incredibly advanced. We have 5 subsea cables with two self-healing rings, the ability to generate 200% of peak electricity demand and even send back 20-25% of our produced power to the UK gird.
Island companies have been among the first to debut emerging technologies, like the 5G demo and MT ClearSound, both from Manx Telecom.
In terms of travel, the Island is nearly equidistant between England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, so travel is both fast and easy. There are over 200 flights per week from the Isle of Man airport with daily flights to the UK, Ireland and further afield. We also have a ferry service, the Isle of Man Steam Packet which runs daily sailings to the UK and seasonal sailings to Dublin.
Stereotype #4: It’s just a bunch of fields…
You know what; this one is half right (and half very wrong). The Isle of Man remains 40% uninhabited, so there are an amazing amount of open spaces and places to discover. We are the only entire jurisdiction in the world to be named a UNESCO Biosphere and there are about 150 people per square kilometre.
The Island is broken up into 4 towns, 4 villages and 16 smaller parishes. Over 30% of the Island’s population lives in the capital of Douglas. We have 32 primary schools, five secondary and two private. The Island also has 14 General Practitioners allotted throughout and state of the art facilities at Nobles Hospital.
Stereotype #5: It’s cold, rainy and that’s about it!
The Isle of Man actually has a pretty temperate climate with warm summers and mild winters. Due to the proximity of the Gulf Stream, the Island doesn't suffer from extreme swings in temperature, with a similar climate to that of Ireland or the Lake District in England.
During the summer months, we enjoy up to 17 hours of daylight each day, which is perfect for taking advantage of the nice weather at one of our beaches or glens. The winter months see between 8-9 hours of daylight, making this season particularly great for stargazing (and possibly catching the Northern Lights!)
Yes, it rains… and like our British counterparts, we Islanders love to moan about the weather. It's true that we get some storms and heavy rain at times (just like the rest of Britain and Ireland) but we actually enjoy a moderate and warm climate that allows us to grow palm trees, enjoy days on the beach and watch the waves roll in on a windy afternoon. The Island changes from season to season, giving 365 days of new landscapes and experiences.
Stereotype #6: There’s nothing for me there.
There are hundreds of current job vacancies in a diverse range of sectors, making now the best time to choose to progress your career in the Isle of Man. If you’re still unsure, why not contact a member of our team today to discuss the exciting opportunities awaiting you right here!