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PRESS RELEASE

BEI/13/218

9 December 2013

European Investment Bank agrees EUR 100million backing for University of Limerick Capital Development Plan

The European Investment Bank, Europe’s long-term lending institution has agreed to provide EUR 100 million for the University of Limerick’s Capital Development Plan 2014 – 2018. The European Investment Bank loan was formally agreed by Professor Don Barry, President of the University of Limerick and Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for Ireland, and witnessed by Michael Noonan TD, Irish Finance Minister and Governor of the European Investment Bank.

The university’s ambitious €224million Capital Development Plan consists of 12 infrastructural developments on the University’s north and south campus, construction of a new Clinical Education Research building on the site of the University Hospital Limerick, and development of a City Centre Campus including student residences and an academic building in Limerick City Centre.

“Our Plan outlines our vision for the future development and expansion of the University of Limerick covering 50,000 square metres of state-of-the-art research, student, sports and academic facilities. The granting of this loan facility clearly indicates a very welcome endorsement of UL’s development plans by the European Investment Bank. We look forward to working closely with the EIB to optimise the benefits which this will deliver for UL, for Limerick and for Ireland and the EU as we extend UL’s role as a dynamic agent of economic, social and cultural development. UL is committed to making a major contribution to the Limerick 2030 Economic and Spatial Plan which will allow us all to work in partnership to deliver a true renaissance of Limerick.” said Professor Don Barry, President of the University of Limerick, speaking at the launch of the UL Capital Development Plan 2014-2018.

“Expansion of the University of Limerick’s research and academic facilities, as well as a new library and student facilities will transform education and student life for future generations. The new City Centre campus will also provide an economic boost and new living accommodation in Limerick. The European Investment Bank is pleased to continue its support for university investment in Ireland and help implement the University of Limerick’s Capital Development Plan, an ambitious framework for transforming education opportunities over the coming years.” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President.

“This is very positive news for the University of Limerick and indeed for Limerick and the wider region as a whole. The University Capital Investment Plan will ensure the University is a world class campus at the heart of Limerick and will create 1,000 jobs in Limerick. This is a great boost for the City. I would like to congratulate Professor Don Barry, EIB Vice President Jonathan Taylor and their respective teams on agreeing the EUR 100 million funding from the European Investment Bank.” stated Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan TD.

“The Irish economy is recovering and I see great opportunities for future EIB funded projects in Ireland. I know that this view is shared by the European Investment Bank. Both the Bank and my Department have redoubled their efforts in recent years to enhance engagement and increase lending for crucial investment in a range of sectors in Ireland.” he added.

It has been nearly 30 years since UL have borrowed from the EIB and today’s announcement is an excellent example of the type of flagship project that collaboration with the EIB can deliver for Ireland.”

1,000 jobs are expected to be created over the lifetime of the Development Plan with 290 full-time high value positions and 710 construction related positions over the period of the plan.

The off-campus capital developments are valued at €62million and represent 30% of the overall investment of the Development Plan. Funding for the remainder of UL’s Capital Development Plan will be secured from a number of sources, including philanthropic donors, state grants, commercial activities and University of Limerick funding.

Highlights of the UL Capital Development Plan, which will roll out over five years, include:

  • the Glucksman Library Phase 2 will double the size of the current library facility with a dedicated climate controlled Special Collections Unit

  • a dedicated purpose built Team Training Centre for the Munster Rugby Team

  • a second 25m pool incorporating a Diving Pool as part of an extension to the University Arena which will also include a xxft climbing wall

  • a Pitch Development project which will see the development of 6 state-of-the-art flood lit grass training pitches

  • the Bernal Building currently under construction which will further strengthen the University’s Science zone

  • Phase 2 of the Materials and Surface Science Institute which consists of a 2,750m2 extension currently under construction

  • A new student centre building including meeting rooms, social areas, Students Union facilities, shops, cinema, concert facilities and a Visitor Centre incorporating the University reception and offices.

Off- Campus Projects

The University is currently undertaking the investigative phase of an initiative to construct student accommodation in Limerick City Centre. This is being developed in collaboration with the city authorities and currently involves up to 400 student-bedroom units.  This project may rise in scale to a 1,000 bed facility in partnership with other Higher Education institutions in the city subject to feasibility and funding. The University is also committed to developing a significant academic facility in the downtown area which is projected to involve teaching and related infrastructure for a student population of approximately 500, with association staff and support services.

The construction of a Clinical Education & Research Building on the site of the University Hospital Limerick is also part of the plan to support collaboration, knowledge exchange and active engagement with the clinicians and the hospital administration and the University. The Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) at the University of Limerick now has over 80 students on Clinical Placement at the campus of the lead teaching hospital, University Hospital Limerick. The development of GEMS requires a Clinical Education & Research Building on the campus of University Hospital Limerick. This development will enhance the delivery of the medical programme and the implantation of the University’s health research strategy which aims to inform an equitable, safe, sustainable and patient-centred healthcare system.

Over the last five years the European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 559 million for long-term investment in Irish education. This includes support for investment in 105 schools across the country, campus development at UCD and new research facilities at Trinity College.

Background informations

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.

University of Limerick:

  • Our Graduate Employment Rates are 15% higher than the national average of all Irish universities.

  • The University of Limerick attracts in excess of 2,200 international students annually who

  • contribute €15 million to the mid-west region.

  • The University of Limerick founded Cooperative Education in Ireland, our programme is the

  • largest of its kind in Europe with a network of 1,700 employers

Sports and Facilities:

  • Ireland’s Sports Campus is home to Europe’s largest third-generation all-weather sports facilities.

  • Green Metric ranking of world universities recognised UL as one of Ireland’s top green universities.

  • The Graduate Entry Medical School Building was shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize for Architecture 2013.

Research:

  • UL start-up incubation facility, the Nexus Innovation Centre has supported the formation and growth of 37 new high-tech start-up companies and over 105 new high-value jobs and is estimated to generate €33 million annually to the regional economy by 2017.

  • Headquarters of the Synthesis & Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC) - a €40 million national research centre dedicated to supporting the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland which is

responsible for over 60,000 Irish jobs and exports of over €50 billion annually.

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

University of Limerick: Sheena Doyle, +353 61 202219 / 86 3807859, Sheena.doyle@ul.ie


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