AN POST CONSIDERS PLAN TO RELOCATE FROM GPO TO CLERYS - Clerys, which is in the process of being redeveloped currently by Paddy McKillen jnr's Oakmount as a major mixed-use scheme to be known as the Clerys Quarter, is one of five potential locations An Post is said to be considering in advance of the commencement of an extensive refurbishment of the GPO.
The company is also understood to have looked at the possibility of moving its headquarters to the Dublin docklands, with Ballymore's Dublin Landings scheme, the Exo Building at Point Village and Bennett Construction's North Docks offices all said to be under consideration, writes the Irish Times. Dublin Airport Central, the major new office development currently under construction on the Dublin Airport campus, is also said to be among the locations being looked at by An Post. While a spokesman for An Post declined to comment on the matter, a survey conducted by the company of its 900 GPO-based staff showed a strong preference both for remaining in the building which famously served as the headquarters for the 1916 rising, and for a city centre location. That desire to remain in Dublin city centre would appear to give Clerys Quarter an advantage over the four other properties An Post is said to have considered in advance of issuing a formal public request for proposal.
IRISH EXPORTERS FACE WILD STERLING SWINGS AFTER BRITISH ELECTION - Irish exporters into the UK could see the value of sales soar or sink depending on the outcome of the December 12 election, HSBC has warned.
Importers from the UK face the same unpredictable currency environment, a potential re-run of the volatility seen after the June 2016 Brexit vote, as the outcome of the general election could possibly dictate wildly different directions for the pound, says the Irish Independent. "Anything can happen" at the polling stations, according to analysis by the UK's biggest bank. An election result paving the way to a Brexit deal with the European Union could send the pound up about 12% to $1.45 by the end of next year, David Bloom, global head of foreign exchange strategy at HSBC, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. A result that points to a no-deal Brexit could see sterling tumble 15%. "Nothing is priced in," Mr Bloom said. "The political outcome will determine the future of the currency." His comments contrast with traders' confidence in sterling, fuelled by polls suggesting the Conservatives will defeat Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party and secure a Brexit deal. The pound is hovering near a six-month high against the euro, while traders are confident prime minister Boris Johnson will maintain his lead, a gauge of expected large moves in the currency suggests. "It looks like a Conservative majority but it's not that simple. It's quite a complicated set of circumstances and it's still completely open; anything can happen," Mr Bloom said.
PLANS PUT FORWARD FOR NEW TRANSPORT TICKETING - Plans for the introduction of "next-generation ticketing" on public transport in Ireland are being progressed in a move which ultimately could see the Leap Card being replaced by 2027.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has issued a market consultation notice to engage with potential service providers as part of its plans to advance the implementation of an Account Based Ticketing (ABT) system across the bus, rail, and light-rail network. It will allow passengers to pay for their journey through mobile phones, bank cards, or official ID card or passport, removing the need to carry a special card for commuting, writes the Irish Examiner. The NTA said the introduction of ABT would facilitate a move towards cashless operations with all self-service ticketing to initially operate on urban bus services which would require no interaction between passengers and drivers. ABT will validate payments through contactless debit and credit cards including Apple Pay and Google Pay, while there are also plans to introduce equipment to accept QR codes and electronic tokens as methods to pay for travel. The NTA said some of the challenges with existing forms of bus fares is that taking payments from passengers boarding at bus stops is the second-biggest cause of delays after traffic congestion. An NTA spokesperson said cash payments were still common among some passengers and accounted for up to 20% of all journeys, which slows down boarding time.
VALUE OF UK'S LIVE MUSIC SCENE HITS RECORD HIGH - The value of Britain's live music sector hit a record £1.1 billion last year, as fans flocked to see big name artists including Ed Sheeran, the Rolling Stones and Sam Smith on tour.
It helped to drive the music industry's overall contribution to the UK economy - which also includes sales of British music overseas and the money spent on food and accommodation by music tourists - to £5.2 billion in 2018. The number of music tourists, those travelling from overseas or within the UK to get to live events, hit a new high of 11.2 million last year, up from 10.9 million in 2017, reports today's Guardian. "Live music is now at a record high and continues to draw millions of fans from both the UK and abroad to our arenas and smaller venues alike," said Michael Dugher, the chief executive of UK Music, the industry body behind the annual report. Total concert attendance remained level at 24.9 million while festival-going soared, up 23% year-on-year to 4.9 million people. Scotland reported the biggest jump in music tourists, up 38% year-on-year to 1.1 million, helped by new festivals such as Summer Sessions. London remains the most popular destination for music tourists, with 2.8 million coming to a wide range of live music including festivals such as Wireless and Lovebox. The number of jobs sustained by music tourism was 45,530 last year, a record high, with overall employment in the music industry also at an all-time high of 190,935.