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Europe is lending Ireland €90 million to grow thousands of trees

Under the investment, more than 35,000 hectares will be replanted.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Shutterstock/Mark Carthy

THE EUROPEAN INVESTMENT Bank will lend Ireland €90 million to invest in 20 years of forestation.

The new long-term loan from the European Investment Bank will be used to finance the cost of planting, forest management and forest road construction and maintenance by Ireland’s state-owned, commercial forestry company Coillte over the next four years.

Under the investment, more than 35,000 hectares will be replanted and more than 1,600 km of forest roads will be constructed and upgraded. The scheme will also improve maintenance of 1,000 km of publically accessible walking routes and mountain bike trails. Investment backed by the new EIB loan will take place in Coillte’s 440,000 hectare estate at sites across the country.

Junior Minister with responsibility for Agriculture Andrew Doyle said the investment will “underpin continued expansion and development across the industry”.

“The most recent forecast of timber production on the island of Ireland highlights the maturing nature of this industry where much of the State’s investment in past decades is now ready to be harvested. This announcement today will help ensure that this economic potential is realised and most importantly that the social benefits of our forests are further developed.”

Fergal Leamy, Chief Executive, Coillte said:

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“Coillte is on a path to becoming the best forestry and land solutions company in Europe. This funding received from EIB combined with the refinancing arrangements secured with our five syndicate banks will be key in enabling us to achieve our strategic ambitions.”

Read: Forestry Inventory finds 10.5% of Ireland’s total land area is forest

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