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Cash-strapped RTÉ has officially put a chunk of land at its HQ up for sale for €75 million

It’s thought the land is likely to be sold for residential development.

90157351_90157351 RTÉ's campus at Montrose in Donnybrook Mark Stedman / Rollingnews.ie Mark Stedman / Rollingnews.ie / Rollingnews.ie

Updated 10pm

STATE BROADCASTER RTÉ has officially put roughly nine acres of land at its Montrose, south Dublin, headquarters up for sale for €75 million.

The land had previously been described in January as “under-utilised” by the broadcaster, which is struggling to balance its finances.

RTÉ’s financial position has been in serious decline for some time, forcing it to stop any investment in infrastructure and technology.

‘Project Montrose’, as the sale has been dubbed by selling agent Savills, comprises 8.64 acres adjacent to broadcasting headquarters.

The land “provides an incoming purchaser with the opportunity to develop a mid to high-end housing scheme of up to 500 units comprising a mix of apartments and houses” according to Savills.

RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes has defended the sale, saying it “does not represent a ‘bonanza’ or a ‘windfall’” for the broadcaster, and that funds raised will not be used reduce operational deficits.

“RTÉ has been operating with vastly reduced commercial and licence fee income, now in the region of €330m, compared to €440m in 2008, and has been under-investing in the organisation for nearly a decade now. That is unsustainable,” she said today.

The funds from the land sale will be used to invest in much-needed technology upgrades and in key digital infrastructure, to reduce debt levels, and to carry out other essential workplace improvements.

“RTÉ is playing catch-up in an industry and market that is evolving rapidly,” she added.

ProjectMontrose_Aerial An aerial view of the Montrose campus

All told the sale will see roughly a quarter of the land owned by RTÉ (roughly 32 acres) changing hands.

“This area of Dublin is synonymous with exclusive high quality apartments and period houses, but supply has been limited due to the lack of appropriate development sites,” said Mark Reynolds, director at Savills, in announcing the sale.

Therefore, we see Project Montrose as a once in a generation opportunity to be part of a truly transformative development story in one of Dublin’s most affluent and fashionable areas.
For anyone serious about urban development not only in Ireland but in Europe, it doesn’t get better than this.

The site for sale also features a protected 19th century building, Mount Errol House, which is currently being used as office accommodation.

Union Siptu said it wants to see a “cooperative approach” to the changes.

Siptu Organiser, Graham Macken, said:

“While SIPTU representatives have concerns at the potential loss of any jobs we welcome the fact that the restructuring of the organisation will be carried out with the direct involvement of the RTÉ Trade Union Group. Decisions will be made following the necessary consultation, negotiation and agreement.

“It is accepted that any job losses resulting from this restructuring will only be achieved by voluntary means. There will be no compulsory redundancies.”

A series of independent reports commissioned late last year had indicated that the sale of the land represented “a valuable source of much-needed funding for investment”, according to the broadcaster.

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