Up to £100m EIB support for urban regeneration across Manchester
28 Nov 2014 12:43 PM
The European Investment Bank has agreed to provide up to GBP 100 million to support urban regeneration projects across Manchester and Greater Manchester. The long-term loan facility from Europe’s long-term lending institution could be used to improve community facilities and public space, as well as initiatives to create jobs and cut energy bills across the city.
European Investment Bank Vice President Jonathan Taylor visited Manchester as the agreement was concluded, meeting chief executive of Manchester City Council Sir Howard Bernstein to see progress on the regeneration of St Peter's Square, one of the projects which will benefit from the investment.
“Residents and businesses across Manchester will benefit from new investment in urban regeneration projects being unlocked yesterday. The diverse schemes will improve community education and health facilities, create employment opportunities and cut energy costs across the city, as well as improving public spaces to make Manchester an even better place to live. The European Investment Bank is pleased to continue our strong engagement with the city, the first outside London to benefit from long-term EIB support for urban regeneration. This follows past support for the Metrolink and improved water services.” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President.
Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council, said: "This long-term loan facility with the EIB for projects which will have economic and social benefits in Manchester and Greater Manchester and generate jobs, savings and improved facilities is very welcome. It means that where the council was already planning to borrow for these existing schemes we have scope to do so at a much more competitive rate than anything which can currently be obtained commercially."
Other schemes which could benefit under the European Investment Bank backed programme include the development of public realm at NOMA to enable public access, regeneration of the New Smithfield Market and provision of improved community health, education and public space in Beswick. It could also support the two new community leisure and library facilities which are also being built at Levenshulme and Hough End.
A number of new investment schemes could be backed by the programme to create jobs and stimulate economic growth. These include development of new facilities at the Hub on the Manchester Science Park and other schemes elsewhere in Greater Manchester.
Public energy bills in Manchester are also set to benefit from replacement of existing city street lighting by energy efficient LED lights and development of a district heating network serving the Manchester Civic Quarter.
The new programme represents the first support for urban regeneration investment by the European Investment Bank in the UK outside London.
The scale of the investment programme has been made possible by the central role of Manchester City Council which will work with Greater Manchester’s other local authorities to implement the schemes. Some of the projects to be financed by the new European Investment Bank loan are supported by the North West Evergreen urban development fund
that uses European Structural and Investment Funds.
In recent years the European Investment Bank has supported more than GBP 820 million of long-term investment in Manchester, including expansion of Manchester Metrolink and state of the art waste treatment for the city. The EIB has also supported improvements to water supply and waste water treatment by United Utilities, new social housing by Sanctuary Housing and construction of the new Royal Liverpool and Alder Hey Hospitals.
Last year the EIB provided nearly GBP 5 billion for investment in water, energy, transport, health and education projects as well as corporate investment in the UK.