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RTE will share colleges' studio facilities in battle to save €25m

RTE will enjoy rent-free studio facilities across Ireland as part of a new partnership with colleges offering media courses.

The broadcaster yesterday outlined cost-cutting plans for its rural operations, moving in to five institutes of technology in a deal that could lead to de facto training for future staff.

Montrose sources said no money has changed hands in the deal which is designed to save €1m, but added that it was "mutually beneficial".

It is part of a strategy to rein in spending at RTE, which has been battling to find €25m worth of savings this year.

It is unclear whether the now defunct regional offices , including the London office, are the property of RTE or leased premises. The broadcaster declined to comment, saying it was "commercially sensitive" information.

However, details of the new arrangements, which will use studios in Sligo, Dundalk, Galway, Athlone and Waterford, have yet to be worked out.

Galway Mayo Institute of Technology said the tie-in would "add a new dimension to our BA in film and documentary and provide work experience and employment opportunities for our students and graduates".

RTE has also agreed to help with media courses at Colaiste Chiarain secondary in Limerick.

The broadcaster is likely to be in place on campuses by the beginning of the 2013 academic year.

RTE said yesterday: "Joint working groups will be established to look at the potential of these new relationships.

"These developments place RTE at the centre of technological and educational innovation and link it to a future generation of media leaders."

Irish Independent