RTÉ unveils plans to revamp Donnybrook HQ

RTÉ today announced plans to revamp its landmark Donnybrook site to keep up with the digital age.

The State broadcaster revealed it will apply for planning permission to transform its dated production suites to a purpose-built complex.

Over the next 10 to 15 years the station wants to replace the majority of buildings on site, which date from the 1960s and 1970s.

However, it said construction will not start until at least 2012 and would not be paid for out of licence fees.

Earlier this year staff were forced to take pay cuts as advertising revenue plummeted.

RTÉ director general Cathal Goan said: “Clearly this is not an ideal time to be announcing a large proposed construction project.

“But to remain competitive and to continue to give Irish viewers, listeners and web users the best possible services, we have to invest in new facilities built for the digital age.”

Subject to planning approval, Project 2025 would begin with new high definition (HD), digital TV and new digital radio studios followed by production areas, rehearsal and performance spaces, and staff offices.

An application will be submitted on Friday, October 9.

The broadcaster said the scheme was announced to coincide with Dublin City Council’s preparation of a new Dublin City Development Plan.

However the station said that given the planning process and the current prevailing economic conditions, it does not anticipate any construction work on the site before 2012.

Mr Goan said rapid change in production and broadcast technology obliges management to plan and provide for the future.

“RTÉ has considered carefully the best way to upgrade and develop our broadcast production and transmission facilities while continuing to stay on air,” he continued.

“We are confident that the most cost effective, sustainable and technically robust option available is to re-configure our existing site and incorporate all facilities into a single new building.”

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