The government has announced it is to invest €22 million in constructing a new TV house at public broadcaster ERR, which it says should meet the requirements of a modern TV broadcaster.
The announcement came on Thursday morning at the government's regular press conference, where it unveiled its investment strategy in state-owned real estate in the coming years. The new TV house would replace the current facilities at Gonsiori 27/Faehlmanni 12, which critics say fails to meet safety requirements, and is energy-inefficient, in addtion to being somewhat dilapidated.
The new building will occupy the space between the existing Radio House on Gonsiori 21, and the News House on Kreutzwaldi 14, an area currently used as a car park, and will bring the public broadcaster's three wings physically closer together.
"A developmental leap at the public broadcaster is inevitable," said culture minister Tõnis Lukas Thursday (ERR falls under the culture ministry's auspices)
"We are competing with predominantly English-Speaking media worldwide, making a high quality TV center with high-quality broadcasts a way of retaining young people in the Estonian media," Lukas continued.
"ERR is (also) a driving force behind development of the Estonian language and culture, since broadcasting plays a prime role in the recording, restoration and digitization of our cultural achievements," Lukas continued.
"Having a modern environment contributes directly to these goals," he continued.
The proposed TV building would accommodate over 400 workplaces, with the old buildings to be sold. Funds raised from that sale would also go towards constructing the new house.
The funding round covers the period 2020-2023. A design competition for the new TV house was announced earlier this year, with "Roheline lina" (literally green linen, or flax) from the Kadarik Tüür firm of architects selected as winner. Architects Ott and Mart Kadarik, Mihkel Tüür, Mats Põllumaa, Indrek Rünkla and Tanel Trepp were behind the design.
ERR operates the flagship ETV channel, together with ETV2 and the Russian-language ETV+, launched in 2015. ERR was formed in 2007 with the merger of the previously-separate radio and TV public broadcasting organizations.
Editor: Andrew Whyte