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European Investment Bank to invest €100 million in UCC and €70 million in Trinity

The developments will support hundreds of jobs and focus on improved student accommodation and research facilities.

The Quad in UCC
The Quad in UCC
Image: Shutterstock

THE EUROPEAN INVESTMENT Bank has announced it is investing €100 million in Cork, as part of a €241 million development for UCC.

The UCC development will support over 500 new jobs during construction, it said in a statement.

UCC President Dr Michael Murphy said the €100 million loan would fuel the most exciting phase of the university’s expansion to date. The project involves

  • €64 million for student accommodation
  • €37 million for a new Cork University Dental School, research centre and hospital
  • €27 million to fund western campus development, including sports facilities and the Cork Science and Innovation Park
  • Student ICT services, including a new student hub

The European Investment Bank is the EU’s non-profit long-term lending institution, established in 1958. It is the world’s largest public investment bank, and concentrates on funding projectst that further EU policy goals.

“This is the largest investment in capital projects at UCC in our history,” Murphy said.

The scale and ambition of the infrastructural developments align directly to key focus areas for the future, namely enhancing student experience and building on our innovation and health agenda and facilities.

“This investment by the EIB will have enormous impact not only for University College Cork, but for education and research nationally and internationally,” he added.

“The European Investment Bank funding is a real expression of confidence and support in UCC, its staff and students and will greatly assist the University in further improving its teaching and research facilities.”

shutterstock_100034045 The Quad in UCC. Source: Shutterstock

The Farm

More than €60 million will be invested in student accommodation, with additional capital expenditure of several million on a new student hub and student services from ICT to UCC Campus facilities upgrades, extensions and refurbishments.

Health and innovation projects will see the largest infrastructural developments such as the relocation of the Cork University Dental School, and a new clinical medical school.

Andrew McDowell, the (Irish) vice-president of the European Investment Bank said:

This will transform education and student facilities for future generations and ensure Cork’s role as one of Ireland’s leading research centres for years to come, as well as creating jobs and training opportunities during construction.

The UCC development will include the relocation of The Farm sports facilities to an adjacent site, to allow for the construction of the Cork Science and Innovation Park.

The total development programme is valued at €241 million, with EIB providing €100 million finance. UCC will access the rest of the funding through capital grants, borrowings and philanthropy.

Separately, the EIB also announced a €70 million loan for campus development at Trinity College Dublin this week. All told, the EIB agreed €200 million backing for school investment last month.

shutterstock_175703651 Trinity College Dublin. Source: Shutterstock

Oisín House

Trinity College Dublin said it would spend the €70 million loan on the new Trinity Business School, currently under construction, as well as the development of campus student accommodation at Oisín House, and new premises for Trinity’s Institute of Population Health in Tallaght.

“We are investing in educational and research facilities for the benefit of all our students and staff,” Dr Patrick Prendergast, Provost of Trinity College Dublin said.

This week Trinity joined the League of European Research Universities (LERU) Europe’s leading network of research intensive universities whose main focus is to build on the research and educational strengths of all its partners.

“Due to the current lack of funding of higher education in Ireland, the financing EIB has provided to Trinity has been crucial in our maintaining current and future standards.

Without such support, quite frankly we would not have been able to progress with important flagship projects such as the Trinity Business School and Oisín House.

The new student accommodation will cater for 250 students, the TCD statemetn said. It will also include a new student health service, disability service and sports facilities.

This is the second EIB loan to Trinity – in 2008 it received a €75 million loan, the first Irish university to do so.

In the last five years the EIB has provided more than €7 billion for investment in universities across Europe, including €512 million in Ireland.

It said that Ireland is the fifth largest country of operation for European Investment Bank support for universities.

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