Isle of Wight Island Games safe says organiser

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David Ball, chairman of the Island Games Association
Image caption,
David Ball said £100,000 of the money was expected before Christmas

The organisers of the Island Games 2011 have said the competition will go ahead as planned.

Doubt had been cast over the event, due to take place on the Isle of Wight between 25 June and 1 July next year, amid concerns over funding.

The Isle of Wight Council is still to hand over £350,000 to organisers.

Island Games Association chairman David Ball sought to allay fears, saying the games "are safe" and said he expected more funds to be released soon.

He said £100,000 of the grant would become available before Christmas.

Mr Ball issued a statement saying: "I would like to reassure the Isle of Wight community and sponsors that the NatWest Island Games 2011 will be going ahead as planned.

'Ringfenced money'

"The Island Games Association are working very closely with the Isle of Wight Council, who are totally supportive, to ensure that the island can deliver a good event next year.

"It is a very difficult time for the Isle of Wight Council. Money has been ringfenced for the games and they are rightly expecting financial controls to be in place.

"It is not a question of whether the money is available but more about timescales on this being released."

Earlier this week Isle of Wight Council deputy leader George Brown said: "The committee know that they have to convince us that the games are going ahead."

On Tuesday the Isle of Wight council approved £25m of spending cuts.

The games will be the last major sporting event to be held in the UK before the Olympic Games in 2012.

About 4,000 athletes and supporters from the other 24 member islands are set to attend.

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