The Irish Times reported on Monday that the state has paid more than EUR 43m to the people behind the Convention Centre in Dublin since its opening. EUR 15.4m in 2010 and EUR 27.8m until now in 2011. With these figures and 40% of the year still ahead of us, it could come to another EUR 20.4m by the end of the year. Which then is a total of EUR 63.6m. That’s a lot! These 63.6m is a part of the EUR 715m that the state will pay the consortium in this “Private-Public Partnership” over 25 years before the centre goes into State ownership. Sure, a big project like the Convention Centre takes a while until it gets into full gear, but with a capacity of 8000 people, it is a little concerning that events in the CCD have an average of just 300 people. And in total it means that for every single visitor you and I have given EUR 512 as a subsidy. www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2011/0801/1224301686670.html
On 19 May the Convention Centre issued a Press Release saying “To date, over 76,000 guests have attended events hosted at The CCD. By the end of this year, the venue will have helped to boost the local economy by over €60m.” (www.theccd.ie/index.jsp?p=100&n=108&a=391). Well, that sounds quite good, but EUR 60m the local economy was boosted by? And we gave them EUR 63m by the end of the year? Looks like we could have saved EUR 3m by giving that money DIRECTLY to the local economy!