Zipit’s €2.5m plan, Medallia’s jobs reversal and Russell & Bromley’s Grafton Street plan – The Irish Times

Forest adventure company Zipit is to invest about €2.5 million in plans to roll out new zipline facilities in Coillte forest parks, including one in Co Kildare’s popular Donadea forest park, the Sunday Independent reports.

The €1 million Kildare facility, for which a planning application has just been lodged, will be Europe’s most advanced zipline park, the company owned by Cork’s Cool Running Events told the newspaper.

It will also have the longest zipline course in Ireland, with a near-1km series of circuits among the treetops, linked by wooden platforms that wrap around the trees at heights of up to 20 metres and featuring rope bridges, swinging logs and ladders.

Zipit already has three parks on Coillte land in Dublin, Roscommon and Cork.

Grafton Street retail

Luxury British footwear and handbag retailer Russell & Bromley is in talks to open a shop on Grafton Street, reports the Sunday Times.

The company is thought to be one of nine businesses in advanced negotiations to open shops on the Dublin shopping street, which would fill half of the 18 retail units that are currently vacant.

Russell & Bromley is expected to move into the old Fitzpatrick’s Shoes store at No 76, which comprises just over 2,200 sq ft of retail space and is available on a 20-year sub-lease through Savills.

Jobs plan reversal

US software company Medallia has reversed its growth plans in the Republic, the Business Post reports. Medallia had created 20 of a planned 100 remote jobs here, but held a round of redundancies earlier this month as part of wider changes to its European business, leaving its Irish team in “the low double digits”. It no longer has per-country headcount targets, it said.

The arrival of the company – which counts Airbnb, Adobe and Salesforce among its customers – was heralded by IDA Ireland in 2021 when it set up a mid-market sales and support hub to support the European, Middle East and Africa (Emea) region.

Delayed repayments

All the money raised by renewable energy developer Solar 21 for a now delayed UK waste project, a sum of up to €250 million, came from Irish investors, the Sunday Independent reports.

Solar 21 confirmed that at least some of the loan notes sold to investors to raise money for the stalled waste-to-energy plant in Yorkshire has been distributed by a firm linked to Naas, Co Kildare, financial services company Wealth Options.

The newspaper reported last week that Solar 21 was seeking “financing solutions” after delaying repayments due to investors, citing Covid, construction delays, staff shortages and an increase in commodity prices.

Construction group review

Roadbridge, the construction group that built the new north runway at Dublin Airport, is conducting a strategic review of its business, which could result in its family owners attracting an outside investor, according to the Sunday Times.

The newspaper said it understood the group, which is owned by the family of its founder, Pat Mulcair, has retained IBI Corporate Finance to advise on a possible capital restructuring, including the sale of an equity stake in the business.

Dublin BID contract

Dublin Town, the business improvement district (BID) for the city centre, has notified Dublin City Council that it will seek a renewal of its five-year contract, reports the Business Post.

The promotional company, which recorded arrears of almost €4 million at the end of 2021, according to the newspaper, is underpinned by legislation requiring businesses to pay it a levy equivalent to 5 per cent of their rates to the council.

A group of businesses recently campaigned against the renewal of the BID, arguing that the levy amounted to a double taxation.

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