RTÉ to sell four acres as losses top €20m

RTÉ has appointed auctioneers to sell up to four acres of prime land, valued at €50m, at Donnybrook in Dublin.

RTÉ to sell four acres as losses top €20m

Several management meetings were held this week at the Montrose headquarters to finalise the terms of the sale, as losses for 2016 topped €20m.

Dee Forbes, RTÉ director general, briefed staff across several departments yesterday. Land to the west of the campus, from the radio building to the edge of Donnybrook Church, is the section earmarked to be sold.

“RTÉ has been giving serious consideration to the best options for the re-development of the Donnybrook campus for some time,” a statement said. “Following (today’s) meeting of the RTÉ Board, RTÉ has informed its staff of its decision to sell a portion of underutilised land on our Donnybrook site.

“While the exact timings around the sales process and final details of the land to be sold are still being finalised and are commercially sensitive, RTÉ can confirm our intention to sell in the first half of 2017. Savills have been appointed to manage the sale, following a public procurement process.

“RTÉ’s financial position has been challenging for some time, with the result that we have had to curtail any significant investment in infrastructure, technology and other organisational changes. This is no longer sustainable.

“A series of independent reports have also indicated that the sale of underutilised land on our Donnybrook site represents a valuable source of much-needed funding for investment.”

The statement added: “While the sale of this underutilised land will not solve all RTÉ’s financial challenges, it will provide us with means to reshape and reinvest in the organisation and, together with the five-year strategy that is in development, will enable us to continue to meet the changing needs of audiences.”

A new plan involves the likely development of 500 houses and demolishment of a €1.5m creche.

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