The UCD Students’ Union has been granted two loans from the Bank of Ireland, totalling approximately €1,075,000. €645,000 of the loan were taken out for UCDSU Ltd, while the second loan of €430,000 was granted for UCDSU Commercial Services Ltd.
The two loans were approved by the bank last week, and signed off by the SU’s Board of Directors at a meeting on Monday October 22nd. The entire €645,000 of the loan for UCDSU Ltd is to be drawn down, while about one quarter of the loan for UCDSU Commercial Services Ltd is also being drawn down.
“We’re drawing down the full €645,000 for UCDSU LTD and drawing down part of the €400,000 for the commercial services; approximately €100,000, but the remainder will be drawn in due course when we begin a capital investment program on the Library shop , and the Engineering shop and the Science shop in the new building,” says UCDSU President Rachel Breslin.
The money is to be used to maintain the Union over the coming months and pay off debts still owed by the Union.
“The money will be used to pay off some remaining creditors that we have,” says Breslin. “Secondly, to sustain ourselves over the coming months and weeks, because we are using capitation that was advanced last year, and we have not received capitation this year so we are trying to fill that hole to make up for the capitation that was advanced by the college from last year. And thirdly, we’ll be using the money, some of it, to fund the shop in the new Student Centre.”
The funds allocated for the new SU shop are understood to be approximately €35,000, while the capital investment in the shops, which it was hoped would have begun by now, is not expected until the summer. Breslin felt it would be “over-ambitious” to try to overhaul the supply and management structure issues in such a short space of time.
“We’re looking at our options in terms of the future of the shop, the management structures and the overall setup. Right now, we’re getting estimates and quotes, and different sources from companies on summer redevelopment.”
The decision to split the loan was taken because the UCDSU and its services are now legally two separate entities, though the only shareholder in UCDSU Commercial Services Ltd remains the Union. The Union has adopted the limited company setup, partly because of a debt owed to the Revenue Commissioner. This debt, which reached a settlement of approximately €500,000, has since been paid off, which was a large contributing factor to the loan being granted from Bank of Ireland.
“The limited liability company structure that we’ve incorporated [was done] so that we have a legal obligation to file accounts every year, to update the shareholders and the Board of Directors of those and our Constitution, which places very stringent financial restrictions on the Union and ensure that, at all times, that there is constant reporting, so people will be made aware of what’s going on,” says Breslin.