The European Investment Bank (EIB) provided more than €825 million for long-term public and private sector investment across Ireland during 2016.
Backing for 12 different initiatives to improve crucial services, enhance key infrastructure and unlock economic opportunities represented the largest number of schemes supported in 24 years.
“I would like to welcome the involvement that the European Investment Bank has had in Ireland in recent years and in particular during 2016 which saw the EIB provide continued financial support to key projects at a very high level. This strengthened EIB engagement reflects the many opportunities for responsible investment in the Irish economy. The consistent growth in Ireland’s economy and elevated levels of business confidence provide a compelling basis for investment in our evolving economic and social infrastructure.” highlighted Michael Noonan T.D., Minister for Finance.
“Strengthened support for crucial investment across Ireland by the European Investment Bank during 2016 reflects the importance of unlocking investment essential for sustainable economic recovery and represented one to the strongest ever years of EIB engagement in the country. Last year the EIB supported priority capital investment by the State, innovation by world class Irish companies and transformation of schools and universities. Significant new support for social housing and agriculture was confirmed alongside equally important steps to ensure an increase of European Investment bank engagement in the years ahead. This includes opening our first permanent office in Dublin, a clear framework for greater cooperation across all government departments and first-time financing backed by the Investment Plan for Europe.” confirmed Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank Vice President.
In the coming weeks the EIB will announce details of significant new support for social housing investment in Dublin and communities across Ireland and confirm the first support for forest investment in the country for 20 years.
Hundreds of schools across the country as well as academic and student facilities at leading Irish universities will be transformed as a result of record European Investment Bank support for education lending in Ireland in 2016. Last year a total of EUR 350 million was provided to upgrade outdated buildings and build state of the art new education and research facilities, at primary and secondary schools as well as University College Cork and the Royal College of Surgeons. This represented the largest per capita support for education by the European Investment Bank in any European country.
Ireland was also the first country in Europe to benefit from European Investment Bank backing of primary healthcare that will support the shift from hospital based healthcare to community based care closer to patient homes. Fourteen new Primary Care Centres are currently being built in Sligo, Roscommon, Mayo and Galway, as well as Limerick, Waterford, Tipperary, Wexford, Kildare and Dublin. This was the European Investment Bank’s first long-term loan in Ireland to be backed by a guarantee under the Investment Plan for Europe initiative, intended to support EUR 315 billion of new investment across Europe.
During 2016 the European Investment Bank significantly increased support for private sector innovation investment in Ireland with new financing backed by the Investment Plan for Europe. New EIB financing made possible by the Investment Plan for Europe supported investment by Irish healthcare company Malin and pharmaceutical firm Amryt that will help the companies to build on world class skills and cutting edge skills.
New EIB support for construction of the N25 New Ross bypass, that will cut traffic delays between Cork and Waterford, represented the first project in Ireland to be financed under the Project Bond Credit Enhancement initiative intended to stimulate capital market financing for large scale infrastructure projects.
Since 1973 the European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 15 billion for investment to improve public services, key infrastructure and unlock new opportunities for Irish companies across the country.