Ambitious new loan sources will enable local government reach targets on capital projects more efficiently said Brian Hayes MEP.
“The European Investment Bank (EIB) is currently in negotiation with Fingal County Council on the terms of providing a €70 million framework facility loan. This, when agreed, signals the start of new funding streams for local authorities, which is a very positive development.
“The European Investment Bank invests in local government in cities across Europe, but as yet, has not provided funding to any local authority in our capital city. Fingal, like many local authorities around the country, has experienced a huge growth in population over the past number of years, which has resulted in additional pressure on services. With the financial pressure that comes providing adequate services, Fingal County Council officials have looked at other innovative funding sources and have been successful thusfar in reaching an agreement with the EIB.
“Fingal intends to agree the capacity to borrow up to €70m million, which will be available for drawdown over a period of five years and repayable over a term of 25 years. This fund will be investment in the County’s Capital Development Plan –enabling a €180m gross expenditure on capital projects in Fingal, such as:
- Transport and Connectivity
- Community Infrastructure
- Enterprise and Economic Development
- Tourism Culture Heritage
“The EIB’s mandate is multi-faceted. The scale of its balance sheet means it can offer competitive interest rates, which are supported by historically low interest rates in Europe currently. In addition, the EIB’s policy agenda supports job creation, environmental and community sustainability – it is not solely commercially driven.
“This funding, when agreed and in place, will enable Fingal to front load and deliver projects more promptly, and also add new projects to the Capital Development Plan. Improved services will also assist the region in attracting more Foreign Direct Investment. Fingal County Council officials are to be praised for their initiative on this. Other Councils can learn from these negotiations and should consider alternative funding sources also.”