The former Newbridge Credit Union building has been earmarked by the Office of Public Works for a new social welfare office.
The sale of building, which is in negotiations, will go towards paying back a fraction of the €54m transfer costs incurred to the tax payer when the credit union collapsed last year.
Newbridge Credit Union was taken over by Permanent TSB last November due to ‘bad lending practices’ which saw ‘hundreds of loans’ of up to €3 million granted to some members. The building, which did not transfer, had fallen in value from €15 million to €3 million at the time.
According to an OPW spokesperson, sale negotiations are ongoing with the court appointed liquidator in relation to the building and the OPW is progressing plans to ‘adapt the building’ for future use as an employment services office or Intreo Centre. “The Office of Public Works are in negotiations with the court appointed official Liquidator McStay Luby in relation to the building formerly owned by Newbridge Credit Union,” said an OPW spokesperson. Cllr Mark Lynch (SF), who obtained a copy of the planning permission sought for the building by the OPW, however has accused the government of ‘robbing the multi million building from the members’.Deputy Martin Heydon (TD) said in response that the building has to be sold in order to pay back some of the €54 million costs of the transfer to the Institute Resolution Fund.“It is not sold yet so we have no figure but it is in advanced stage,” he said. “It is a circular movement of tax payers funds and it is the job of the liquidator to dispose of any assets.” Staff affected at PTSB have been offered voluntary redundancy or a transfer..