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European backing for new Yorkshire schools

EIB provides £56m funding for seven new schools in Yorkshire

Posted by Stephanie Broad | May 05, 2016 | People, policy, politics, money

The European Investment Bank has agreed to provide £56 million to build seven new secondary schools in Bradford, Harrogate, Keighley, Bradford and Huddersfield. The brand new schools, to include the latest computing, teaching and catering facilities, will benefit more than 8,500 Yorkshire school children and replace outdated and redundant buildings. 

Over the last year the European Investment Bank has provided £281 million for investment at 46 new state schools being built across the country under the Priority Schools Building Programme, including the Yorkshire schools in the fifth and final batch.

Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice-President, said the agreement ‘unlocks’ the much-needed new school construction to provide new facilities and provide work for local construction firms. He said: “Our support for similar school investment under the wider Priority School Building Programme is already transforming schools elsewhere across the country. The European Investment Bank has a strong track record of supporting new hospitals, as well as crucial water, transport, energy, higher education and social housing investment in Yorkshire and we look forward to confirming support for new projects in Yorkshire in the coming months, as part of our commitment to backing long-term investment across the UK.”  

The seven schools to be transformed are the Samuel Lister Academy in Bingley, Whitcliffe Mount Business and Enterprise College and All Saints Catholic College in Kirklees, Belle Vue Boys' School and Carlton Bolling College in Bradford, Oakbank School in Keighley and Harrogate High School. 

Building work has already commenced at four of the schools and will start shortly at the other sites. 

The Priority Schools Building Programme is a centrally managed programme set up to address the needs of the schools most in need of urgent repair. By grouping school development schemes aggregating funding requirements, the Education Funding Agency has been able to access cheaper finance, and streamline procurement for each batch of schools. The long-term loan from the European Investment Bank represents around 40% of the overall project costs. 

Over the last decade the European Investment Bank has provided more than £4 billion for education investment across the UK. This includes transformational investment at 30 universities and 42 further education colleges across the country. 

Lending by the EIB in the UK last year totalled £5.6 billion and represented the largest annual engagement since the start of EIB lending in the UK in 1973. This supported nearly £16 billion of overall investment in 40 projects across the UK, which schools, university campuses, hospitals, upgraded energy links, renewable energy projects and water infrastructure.

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