herald

Monday 26 September 2016

RTE is urged to sell land on Montrose

MEDIA

The RTÉ campus at Montrose in Dublin 4
The RTÉ campus at Montrose in Dublin 4

RTE should consider selling its Donnybrook headquarters, a review of the broadcaster's finances has found.

The 30-acre Montrose campus is worth millions of euro, and if sold could go a long way to meeting its future funding demands.

Communications Minister Alex White recently published a review of the broadcaster's finances and assets in the wake of a fall in advertising revenue since the recession.

The NewEra report found 40pc of the Donnybrook site is either undeveloped or used as a car park.

"Use of the Donnybrook site is not optimal. Options concerning the site should be developed with robust analysis of costs and benefits - all options should be considered, from no sale of the site, partial sale of the site, full sale/land swap," it states.

An RTÉ working group is examining the possibility of selling a portion of the site and is due to report to the minister in the summer.

The station has been cash-strapped in recent years but recorded a small €1.1m surplus in its most recent accounts.

Government sources said the station will struggle to meet future capital investment needs as it moves to keep up with technology. RTÉ is also facing an expensive period covering Euro 2016, the 2016 Olympics and 1916 Rising commemorations next year.

The report says the amount of office space for the 1,530 staff is above average for a modern building.

"RTÉ could consider selling the site in its entirety to move to a new location as there is no imperative, in our view, that it need remain in Donnybrook," it adds.

An RTE spokesman said: "RTÉ welcomes the NewEra report, and has already in place a working group to consider it."

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