RDS revenues jump 12% to €10.7m

REVENUES at the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) increased by 12% to €10.7 million last year, the society said yesterday.

The society had an operating surplus of €1.3 million, although this was largely eaten up by a once-off €733,000 bill relating to a planning application to develop its Ballsbridge site in the south of the city.

The RDS hosted 59 exhibitions and five major conferences during the year. It was also a host venue for a number of last year’s Special Olympics World Games events and was the designated site for the Olympic village. The society spent €1.2m during the year on developing its facilities, which include the Simmonscourt pavilion that plays host to events like Funderland. The RDS also hosts the Dublin Horse Show and high-profile exhibitions such as the Young Scientists showcase.

Chief executive Shane Cleary said he was pleased with the successful planning application to re-develop the Anglesea Stand overlooking the show jumping arena and build two new multi-purpose halls.

Dublin City Council also approved a proposal to develop 20,000 square metres of commercial office space, which will be located along the high-profile Simmonscourt Road.

The planning applications are currently the subject of an appeal to An Bord Pleanala. But Mr Cleary said the new developments were vital to allow the RDS to remain in the Ballsbridge area by generating revenue for the society. He said the new facilities would secure the future of the horse show at the RDS by increasing the funding available to the society. Mr Cleary will retire as RDS chief executive tomorrow after 12 years in charge. He will be succeeded by Bord Bia chief executive Michael Duffy.

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