The Minister for Education and Skills, Mr. Richard Bruton TD, and the Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, Mr. Andrew Mc Dowell, yesterday signed a long term loan agreement which will allow the Department of Education to draw down EUR 200m in European Investment Bank funding.
This EUR 200 million long-term loan will help deliver the Department of Education’s School Building Programme which was announced in September 2015. It will support the construction, enlargement and modernisation of 71 schools over the next 4 years as well as delivering improved energy saving measures to these schools.
Minister Bruton said, “You can’t achieve a prosperous economy without a fair society, and you can’t support a compassionate society without a strong economy. Investment in education is a prime way to grow our society and economy together. Investing in educating improves human capital, ensuring that all our people have opportunities to achieve their potential, as well as generating wider benefits for our economy. The decision of the EIB to make available a further €200 million loan to support the Government’s Capital Investment Programme is continued evidence of the Bank’s commitment to large scale school projects, and provides my Department with a cost-effective mechanism for delivery of part of the school building programme.”
“I want to thank the EIB and Vice-President Andrew McDowell for their support and continued engagement and to acknowledge their assistance in the roll out of PPP projects and significant projects within the university sector.”
Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank Vice President said, “Investment in Irish schools is investment in Ireland’s future. The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting crucial investment across Ireland and this record new scheme will benefit thousands of school students, teachers and construction workers across the country. This new support builds on the EIB’s strong track record of enabling investment at schools and universities to continue during a time of constrained public investment”.
The EUR 200 million loan represents the largest ever support for school investment in Ireland approved by the European Investment Bank. The loan will be used by the Department of Education and Skills in the financing of construction and renovation works on 71 large scale school building projects which will benefit some 44 thousand students across the country.
Since 2010 the European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 294 million to support investment at 108 primary, secondary and special schools across Ireland.
The 25-year loan is provided to the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) acting on behalf of the Irish State, and represents the seventh European Investment Bank loan provided to the NTMA.
Over the last 5 years the European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 3.6 billion for new investment to improve transport, education, rural internet and flood protection across Ireland, as well as enhancing access to finance by small business.