In another blow to Ireland's depressed technology sector, Dell Computers has decided against renewing the lease on its sales and services facility at the Cherrywood Science & Technology Park in Shankill, Co Dublin.
Dell's three-year lease on the site, owned by property developer Dunloe Ewart, expires in June 2003.
The computer giant employs 450 at its facility there but a company spokesperson told siliconrepublic.com the decision would have no net impact on jobs.
Dell plans to merge the Cherrywood operation with the company's sister operation in Bray, Co Wicklow. An undisclosed number of positions will transfer to Bray over the coming months. The latter is at peak capacity following the hiring of hundreds of temporary workers to cover the busy Christmas period but, according to the spokesperson, the company expects to have some additional capacity at Bray over the coming months as some of these workers leave. She added that additional space might be required to house the remainder of the employees but the company was not in a position to make any decision about this yet.
Dell was an anchor tenant at Cherrywood and its decision to quit the site will be seen a body blow for the fledgling technology campus whose other main tenant is Lucent Technologies, the troubled telecoms equipment vendor.
Explaining the reason for the decision, the Dell spokesperson admitted that cost was a factor. "Clearly if we can put all our people onto one site which we own, there are going to be cost advantages," she said.
She added, however, that the primary motivation for the company was that it wanted to be flexible and keep its options open.
By Brian Skelly