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Ireland and the EU are backing a massive €230 million expansion at DCU

The money is being used for a massive development of the university’s campus.

Image: Marie Lecoq via Flickr

BOTH THE IRISH state’s investment fund and the European Union’s bank are supporting a massive €230 million capital development plan at Dublin City University.

The university announced this morning that it has secured long-term loan and bridging finance for a huge programme of infrastructural improvements over the next five years.

DCU said the funds will be used for:

  • Research and innovation
  • The construction of a new student centre and new sports facilities
  • On-campus accommodation and “21st century digital teaching spaces”

The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, which is managed by the National Treasury Management Agency, has committed €54 million to the project. That money will be used to specifically target student-accommodation projects.

Funding

In addition to that, the fund has signalled an appetite “in principle” to fund up to €66 million extra, subject to the projects meeting the dual requirements of a commercial return and economic impact.

The European Investment Bank has also made €76 million available to DCU under a 23-year loan.

The university said that the remainder is being provided by “philanthropic donations, government grants, student contributions and funding from the university itself”.

The investment will allow for the upgrade of facilities on the All Hallows Campus and the construction of student accommodation following the signing of final contracts for the purchase of the campus by DCU earlier this month.

21/1/2013 Jobs Announcements DCU Innovation Campus DCU President Brian MacCraith Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

It will also facilitate construction on St Patrick’s College campus which will provide additional capacity “to support the incorporation of St Patrick’s College, Mater Dei Institute of Education and the Church of Ireland College of Education into DCU”.

On the Glasnevin campus, the finance will facilitate a buy-back of existing campus residences and construction of a further 560 on-campus student accommodation places.

This will bring the total capacity to over 2,200 student bed units across the university’s campuses.

Transformation

Construction of a new student centre will start this summer to create a “purpose-built space for students’ social, cultural, global engagement and entrepreneurial activities”.

European Investment Bank vice president Jonathan Taylor said its €76 million loan “demonstrates the European Investment Bank’s commitment to support long-term investment that improves economic opportunities and social infrastructure across Ireland”.

“The European Investment Bank looks forward to backing similar impressive schemes elsewhere in Ireland in the months and years ahead,” he said.

DCU President Brian MacCraith said that the project “heralds the commencement of a massive transformation project for Dublin City University which will see us extend our geographical footprint in North Dublin to become a four campus institution with first-class facilities for students and researchers alike”.

He said the project will “enhance the DCU student experience of a growing student body which will number 16,000 on completion of incorporation of St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Mater Dei Institute of Education and the Church of Ireland College of Education in September this year.”

DCU currently has 11,000 students enrolled there.

Written by Paul O’Donoghue and posted on Fora, a new business publication for Irish startups and SMEs.

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