Trinity College has appointed Jillian Wilson as the new Head of Central Events within the Commercial Revenue Unit, furthering attempts to cement the college as a city centre hub for conferences and events. Wilson, who studied Law in Trinity, has taken her position in the college after over seven years of working at the Convention Centre Dublin.
The move comes after increased efforts to raise revenue to replace State funding. Trinity News reported on a deal in December between College and event promoters MCD to host 10 open air shows this summer, with a spokesperson for College saying “the revenue raised by the initiative would go to fund the academic needs of the University”. A scheme was announced in October to sell the naming rights of areas on campus to donors in a deal earning College €1 million over 5 years.
In addition, the numbers of people visiting the Book of Kells reached over 760,000 in 2015, with that figure expected to rise this year. Similarly, the Science Gallery achieved record visitor numbers of 409,891 visitors during the same period. The Irish Independent reports that Trinity earns as much money “selling t-shirts and tickets to the Book of Kells as it does from the Exchequer”. Total funding for Irish universities dropped from €723 million in 2007 to €522 million in 2014.
Furthermore, the holding of talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in attempts to form a government last April was one of many conferences and gatherings that have been held at Trinity. As well as hiring locations for conferences, Trinity also offers accommodation during summers and provides a catering option in both the Dining Hall as well as the Atrium, the Buttery and various private dining rooms.
Additional reporting by Niamh Lynch.