Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson took the opportunity at a recent launch attended by Vice-Chairman of the Luxembourg based European Investment Bank (EIB) Jonathan Taylor to explore opportunities for investment assistance from the EIB for infrastructural projects.
Martina Anderson said:
“At a recent University of Ulster Launch in Belfast attended by the Vice-Chair of the EIB, Jonathan Taylor I took the opportunity to discuss with him, the possibility of funding opportunities for the North and Coupling of projects such as Magee , Altnagelvin, C-Tric for Research and Development and Roads and Rail infrastructure. I was pleasantly surprised when he responded that it was an idea worth pursuing.
“The Luxembourg-based bank lends money on low-interest, long-term deals for big infrastructure projects. I intend pursuing the possibilities to establish exactly what type of project would qualify for financial assistance. The recently announced University of Ulster’s new Belfast Campus has benefited from a £150 million loan facility from the EIB which was crucial in order for the project to proceed.
“I would also urge Ilex, Derry City Council and other public bodies to investigate the potential of the EIB to help expedite major projects that are being delayed because of lack of access to finance. The Executive does not have access to EIB facilities but Councils,  Development Bodies etc. do. Therefore I believe that with the new super councils due to come on stream with increased powers and responsibilities that it would be opportune for the transitory committees to explore the possible benefits of this source of low cost finance for essential development projects.”