Councillors have agreed financial backing for Anglesey’s bid to host the 2025 Island Games.
Anglesey Council voted on Tuesday to help underwrite the costs if the island wins the right to stage the bi-annual Olympic-style event.
The Ynys Môn Island Games Association, which is leading the bid, says the decision means hosting the event was now a ‘reality’.
It comes a month before Anglesey hosts the Inter Games football championship – an unofficial tournament being held in place of football at this year’s Island Games in Gibraltar.
Inspectors from the International Island Games Association are due to visit Anglesey next October – before a final decision’s made on who will host the 2025 Games at its AGM in Guernsey in July 2020.
The council says while it’s agreed its support in principal, the 2025 bid committee will have to achieve the income targets set in its business plan.
They’ve already secured financial support from a number of sponsors and public bodies, including the Welsh Government and the Anglesey Charitable Trust.
Council leader Llinos Medi, said: ”We are pleased to endorse and support the Ynys Môn bid and hosting such a special event will offer significant legacy benefits.”
”Whilst we have agreed to underwrite the games, there will, of course, be conditions to minimise any potential costs to the council. This will include representation on the bid committee moving forward to ensure proper governance, financial control and that local fundraising takes place.”
”Seeing Ynys Môn as host in 2025 will be a fantastic way to celebrate the Island Games’ 40th anniversary and a once in a generation opportunity for our young people, athletes, sportsmen and women.”
As a founding member of the International Island Games Association, Anglesey has competed at the Games since they were first held on the Isle of Man in 1985.
But two previous attempts to bring the Games to Wales have failed. Aland of Finland defeated a Ynys Môn bid to host the 2009 event by twelve votes, and the county council backed out of a later attempt to stage the 2015 Games, latterly held in Jersey.
The Ynys Môn 2025 Project says a successful bid this time around could bolster the island’s economy by £4.5 million upon the arrival of 4,000 athletes from around the world.
Bid chairman Gareth Parry said: ”Our bid to host the International Island Games in 2025 is progressing well, and this financial support helps Ynys Môn overcome its biggest obstacle to hosting the Games.”
”We now move forward with greater confidence and will engage with local communities, private sector and third sector to ensure we have an Island wide commitment to this major international event.”
”The Ynys Mon Island Games Association is confident that the Island Games will bring huge benefits and allow our Island and its athletes to shine on the international stage.”