The Department for Enterprise recognises that the Grandstand Scoreboard that is used for the TT Races, the Classic TT Races and Manx Grand Prix is an iconic and unique piece of TT history.
In 2018, the Department for Enterprise assessed the long-term future of the structure of the scoreboard with an independent structural and electrical survey. The surveys and subsequent improvement works had guaranteed that the structure was suitable and viable for use up until the end of the 2020 racing season.
The Department for Enterprise subsequently ran a public consultation to identify the longer-term options for the design of a replacement Scoreboard structure which concluded on 31st January 2020. In this consultation, the Department invited feedback on the look, feel and operation of a replacement Grandstand Scoreboard to inform its decision on the next steps to take.
This consultation process resulted in the Department for Enterprise identifying a number of potential options with the route eventually identified to rebuild the structure with a combination of old and new technologies.
This includes replacing leader board panels with digital screens and the linking sections with a traditional design. In addition, as part of this redesign, the timekeeper’s huts will also need to be replaced to ensure that the existing timekeeper’s function can continue.
The Department for Enterprise invited Expressions of Interest in June 2020 from third parties with relevant experience to provide quotations both for the initial design proposals for a new system and a separate process for the removal of the existing Grandstand Scoreboard. Preferred suppliers have been identified through the process and the contract to complete the removal work has been awarded.
The overall objective of the project is to replace the current structure with one that fully incorporates the latest technology whilst maintaining the heritage and tradition of the existing structure and its operations.
The intended solution is currently a fully integrated design that incorporates the necessary safety features to allow for existing operations to continue but negates the need for the existing separate safety fence at the front of the structure.
Consideration will be given to all of the existing operations that occur when the structure is in use, the safety of those operating the scoreboards and those persons in the timekeeper’s huts, and how best to incorporate the digital technology available and whether this would be fixed or removable to a permanent structure.
The cost effectiveness of re-integrating any recently installed electrical equipment will need to be considered, as well as how best to incorporate advertising capability. The structure should remain aesthetically pleasing all year round, with minimal maintenance.
Manx National Heritage, the agency responsible for the protection and preservation of the Isle of Man’s Heritage, will ensure that any removal of the Grandstand Scoreboard is done within their direction and guidance with regard to the preservation of any elements that the heritage agency wishes to retain.
It is intended that a section of the scoreboard with be incorporated in to the new TT Gallery, currently under development at the Manx Museum and due to open in 2022. The gallery will examine the impact of the TT and motorsport on the Isle of Man over its 113-year history.
As well as parts of the scoreboard it will showcase some of the most historic artefacts connected with the races, including the hip flask presented to Rem Fowler for the very first win in 1907, the trophy presented to Percy Evans for the earliest race on the Mountain Course in 1911, and the Yamaha ridden by Carl Fogarty in what is often regarded as the greatest ever race in 1992.
The Department for Enterprise Motorsport Team will be working with the Department of Infrastructure to ensure that the design and development of a new scoreboard is integrated with the proposed schedule of work planned for Glencrutchery Road which includes the TT Start-Finish Line. This is to determine the final design of the new scoreboard, particularly if it would need to be temporarily removed while any roadworks are carried out or whether it can remain in place.