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European Investment Bank confirms EUR 230m support for VU University Amsterdam campus redevelopment

European Investment Bank - BEI/13/141   19/09/2013

Other available languages: FR DE NL

PRESS RELEASE

BEI/13/141

19th September 2013

European Investment Bank confirms EUR 230m support for VU University Amsterdam campus redevelopment

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union’s long-term lending institution, has agreed to provide EUR 230 million, for construction of new buildings and development of the VU University Amsterdam campus. This is the EIB’s largest ever loan for a university, and the significant support agreed with VU today is the first engagement with the higher education sector in the Netherlands. Under the large scale redevelopment programme existing buildings will be replaced and new teaching and research faculties built alongside redevelopment of the main campus building. The 20 year loan was formally agreed at a signature ceremony earlier today.

“Investment in higher education and research, in both the Netherlands and across Europe, is essential for future generations of students. The European Investment Bank is pleased to support the campus redevelopment scheme at VU University and is committed to helping to improve innovation and skills in the Netherlands.” said Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for the Netherlands.

“We are pleased that the European Investment Bank has decided to provide half of the necessary investment to support the university. The rest of the investment will be provided by the VU University itself. This investment will enable necessary renovation and renewal of the Zuidas Campus to take place. Engagement of the EIB demonstrates their support for the strategic and financial focus of our plans to improve research and education. The new investment across the VU University Campus will provide new facilities essential for socially relevant education and research excellence and allow the university to make best use of the unique campus setting alongside other institutions and international business. This new investment, confirmed during challenging economic times, marks an important step in development of the Zuidas campus and enhancing Amsterdam as a knowledge-economy driven city.” René Smit, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of VU University Amsterdam.

The investment programme will help improve education and research facilities at VU University Amsterdam. Replacement and upgrading campus buildings dating from the 1960s and 1970s will include new research and teaching buildings better suited for the needs of modern higher education.

The EIB funding will be specifically used for a new sustainable and landmark campus building and a mixed office and laboratory research centre, as well as extending the lifespan of the main university building and medical facility. Investment will also support improvements to the Sciences building. The EIB support will also enable the Energy Center of VU University Amsterdam to replace its energy plant to become more efficient and sustainable. Works to redevelop the campus started last year and works on the first phase are expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

Over the last 5 years EIB, Europe’s long-term lending institution, has provided more than EUR 7.3 billion for infrastructure investment and small businesses in the Netherlands. Well known projects that have recently benefited from significant EIB support include widening of the A12 motorway between Lunetten and Veenendaal, expansion of the Maasvlaakte at the Port of Rotterdam and support for large scale development at hospitals in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Deventer and Heerenveen.

The VU University Amsterdam campus development project is the first EIB lending for education facilities in the Netherlands for many years. Between 2008 and 2013 the European Investment Bank provided loans worth more than £17 billion to 201 education projects across Europe.

Background:

The European Investment Bank:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

VU University Amsterdam:

VU University Amsterdam is an open organization, strongly linked to people and society. What matters is not just the acquisition of a greater depth of knowledge, but also a wider one: ‘VU: looking further’. Academic research and education at VU is characterized by a high level of ambition, and encourages free and open communications and ideas. VU stands for universal university values such as academic freedom and independence.

Press contacts:

European Investment Bank: Richard Willis, +352 621 555 758, willis@eib.org

Website: www.eib.org/press - Press Office: +352 4379 21000 – press@eib.org

Vrije Universiteit: Ronald van Gelder, ronald.van.gelder@vu.nl

+31 20 59 85645


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