Submissions are to be sought from those interested in leasing Knockaloe Farm.

The plan presents an exciting opportunity for a private investor to breathe new life into the former World War One internment camp and experimental farm.

On behalf of the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA), local estate agent Chrystals will advertise the ‘unique commercial opportunity’ next week, with a closing date of 22nd July.

Richard Ronan MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said: ‘This site has an important place in Manx history and is cherished for its natural beauty.

‘We hope to let it to an investor who will celebrate the site’s past and its significance to the area while unlocking its potential in terms of economic growth and increased visitor numbers.’

The Minister said his Department was keen to hear proposals that incorporated aspects such as visitor attractions, education, local food and heritage.

‘We are seeking an ‘anchor’ tenant who, hopefully working with other partners, will create something the Isle of Man can be proud of,’ the Minister said.

Full details of the letting will appear in Chrystals’ advertisements.

DEFA ceased to operate the 337-acre farm in 2010 and it has consulted widely with local MHKs, commissioners and the community over its future.

It updated the public on its proposals at the latest public meeting, held at Patrick Church Hall last night (Thursday).

The site will continue to house the Mart and the Royal Manx Agricultural Show.

In liaison with the new tenant, it’s planned to increase public access to the farm so even more people can enjoy it.