Sinn Féin MEPs Martina Anderson, Lynn Boylan and Liadh Ní Riada will travel to Luxemburg on Thursday to explore opportunities for investment with the Vice-Chairman of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Jonathan Taylor.
Martina Anderson said:
“I recently took the opportunity to discuss with Johnathan Taylor, the possibility of funding opportunities such as coupling of projects such as Magee, Altnagelvin, C-Tric for Research and Development and roads and rail infrastructure.
“I then arranged a further meeting with him for this Thursday 17th July along with party colleagues Lynn Boylan and Liadh Ní Riada in Luxemburg to discuss a number of propositions with him.
“The EIB lends money on low-interest, long-term deals for big infrastructure projects.
“However, the British government blocks the Executive from accessing EIB funding for major projects such as the A5 and A6 and the development of a modern rail network.
“It is a crazy situation that councils and deevelopment bodies do have access to the fund while the body charged with job creation and structural projects can’t at this time.
“The new super councils are due to come on stream with increased powers and responsibilities. So it’s an opportune time for me to explore the possible benefits of this source of low-cost finance for essential development projects.
“The University of Ulster’s new Belfast Campus is an example of a project that has benefited from a £150 million loan facility from the EIB, which was crucial in order for the project to proceed.
“We intend to establish exactly what projects qualify for financial assistance and if the British government lifts its ban on Executive access to the EIB, what type of cross-border projects could access funding?”