No government help meant no Richard Hammond, Jersey motoring festival says

Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (38167293)

PLANS to host Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond at this year’s Rubis Jersey International Motoring Festival fell through due to a lack of government funding, according to organisers.

The JIMF’s Robert Surcouf said “sadly” the opportunity to bring the presenter to the Island was “missed”.

Thousands attended each day of the four-day event, which featured demonstrations from historic Formula One and Le Mans-winning cars, a static display, and entertainment in the People’s Park and Lower Park.

Next year, the festival, which has been running for 24 years, will take place from 5 to 8 June, it has been announced.

But organisers said yesterday in a statement that “funding the event has becoming increasingly challenging in recent years”.

“Maintaining the current level of promotion for the Island, with no government support, is proving difficult,” the statement added.

The festival cost over £120,000 to run, with a significant amount set aside for the hire of road signage from the government and the jump in costs to hire materials and travel to the Island.

Mr Surcouf said: “Sadly, the government was unable to provide funding for this event. We had hoped to run it entirely on sustainable fuel, which would have been a first in the British Isles. We also had the opportunity to bring Richard Hammond over to film a whole episode of his Richard Hammond’s Workshop for series 3 on Discovery+. Sadly, both these opportunities were missed.”

Event lead co-ordinator Steve Salmon added: “The JIMF team is a small group of volunteers who work year-round to produce the festival, showcasing the Island and providing entertainment for Islanders and visitors.

“We are incredibly grateful to our title sponsors Rubis, along with the Jersey Development Company, Condor Ferries and AAL Recycling. Their support was essential to making this event happen in 2024.

“We are hopeful that positive steps can be made in the next 12 months to secure the festival’s future and allow it to run into its 25th year and beyond.

“Our desire is to grow the event, not only locally but also overseas, to attract more competitors, exhibitors, and spectators to the Island, further supporting our tourism and hospitality industries.”

The government has been approached for comment.

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