Ireland: EIB agrees €200 million loan to support investment in school buildings

(Source: European Investment Bank)

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed a €200 million loan to support investment in school buildings across Ireland.

The 30-year loan is provided to the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), acting on behalf of the Irish State, and represents the tenth European Investment Bank loan provided to the NTMA since 2012.

The loan underpins an element of the State’s €4.4 billion existing NDP funding allocations for the school building programme.

The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and the Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, Christian Kettel Thomsen, today signed an agreement which will allow the National Treasury Management Agency to draw down €200m in European Investment Bank funding.

Bernie McNally, Secretary General of the Department of Education said: “I want to thank the EIB and Vice-President Kettel Thomsen for their support and continued engagement.

“This €200 million long-term loan will help deliver the Department of Education’s significant School Building Programme. As part of the Department’s €4.4 billion NDP allocation, it will support the construction, enlargement and modernisation of 30 schools, as well as delivering improved energy saving measures to these schools, which will benefit approximately 23,000 students across the country.”

Christian Kettel Thomsen, European Investment Bank Vice President said: “Investing in schools is investing in the future. The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting long-term investment in Irish schools to ensure that students benefit from even better facilities and the latest teaching technology, alongside sharing best-practice gained from similar schemes across Europe to cut energy bills.”

Frank O’Connor, incoming Chief Executive of the National Treasury Management Agency, said: “Our partnership with the EIB is a very important source of finance for capital investment in key infrastructure. We are pleased that this facility and the wider School Building Programme will benefit so many students and contribute to higher-quality school buildings including greater energy efficiency.”

The Department of Education and EIB also signed an acknowledgement of Advisory Support between the two organisations to support Phase 1 of the National Energy Profile project currently underway in Ireland.

In preparing for the delivery of the deep energy retrofit of all schools built prior to 2008 as provided for under the NDP, the Department of Education is establishing a national energy profile of all schools.

Phase 1, which has already started, includes the development and roll-out of a survey tool and database, along with assessing 580 schools, and has been funded by the European Investment Bank Advisory Hub. This involves energy assessors gathering focused information on energy use, building types, age, and size along with an overview of general fabric and energy aspects of electrical and mechanical systems, along with the energy performance and energy consumption characteristics of each school.

The 580 schools are in counties Kildare, Offaly, Meath, Wicklow and Wexford. The database system design and development will be compatible with the Department’s Geographic Information System, to enable delivery of the NDP investment programme.

The Department of Education and EIB are exploring opportunities to develop additional phases of the project to build on the developing outcomes from phase 1.

The European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 2 billion for long-term education investment across Ireland over the last 41 years.

Background information:

The allocation of €200m from the EIB to the NTMA, as part of the Department of Education’s €4.4 billion NDP allocation, will support the construction, enlargement and modernisation of 30 schools over the next 5 years, as well as delivering improved energy saving measures to these schools.

The 30 school projects are on the existing capital programme and are at various stages of development. Today’s announcement does not impact on the timelines which are already in place to deliver these projects.

The European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH or the Hub) is designed to act as a single point of entry to a comprehensive offer of advisory services and technical assistance. The Hub aims to improve the quality of investment projects by offering tailored advisory support to European project promoters. It builds on the expertise of the European Commission, the EIB Group, National Promotional  Banks and Institutions and EU Member States’ managing authorities.

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