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Thu February 27 2020

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Record year for EIB funding of UK infrastructure

25 Jan 17 Record numbers of UK projects were supported in 2016 by the European Investment Bank (EIB).

EIB provided £5.5bn for UK projects, which was slightly down on the £5.6bn of the previous year, but the number of projects supported was a record.

The money included the bank’s largest-ever support for social housing investment across the UK and backing for major education, transport, water and energy projects

“Last year the European Investment Bank’s support for crucial investment across the UK helped to improve essential services, enhance key infrastructure and unlock economic opportunities across the country,” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank vice president. “This included record financing for social housing investment in any European country, and the largest-ever loans to universities. These will strengthen world-class research and innovation at universities in Oxford, Edinburgh, Swansea, Bangor, Newcastle and UCL. More UK households will get green energy following the single largest ever EIB support for investment in offshore wind, and London commuters will benefit from new trains.”

New investment by housing associations across the country to build and improve social housing was supported by more than £1.3bn of long-term European Investment Bank loans agreed in 2016. This included first time lending to housing associations in southern England and Northern Ireland, as well as through the Housing Finance Corporation. The EIB is currently finalising new support for social housing in Scotland and London.

When signed last year the £280m EIB loan to University College London Bank to develop the Bloomsbury and UCL East campuses and £200m EIB financing to strengthen Edinburgh's reputation as a global leader in education and research represented the largest ever EIB support for investment by European universities. The European Investment Bank also agreed support construction of seven new secondary schools in Bradford, Harrogate, Keighley, Bradford and Huddersfield that will benefit more than 8,500 Yorkshire school children and replace outdated and redundant buildings.

New EIB support for renewable energy related investment it the UK last year included £500m to reinforce electricity transmission in northern Scotland to improve connections between wind, wave and tidal renewable energy schemes and the national power network. Another £525m was also provided to support construction of the Beatrice windfarm off the Caithness coast that represents the single largest support ever for investment in an offshore wind project by the European Investment Bank. Energy lending included support for the Humber Gateway OFTO, the tenth UK offshore transmission link supported by Europe’s long-term lending institution over the last five years.

As part of continued support for transformational investment in UK water infrastructure £950m was provided to support construction of the Thames Tideway project and backing capital investment by United Utilities across the North West of England.

The EIB is directly owned by the 28 European Union member states, including a 16 per cent share held by the UK government.

Since 1973 the EIB has provided more than £100bn for investment to improve public services, key infrastructure and unlock new opportunities for companies across the country.

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