France: Centre Region: EUR 350m loan for the modernisation of lycées and vocational and apprentice training infrastructure
- Release date: 09 September 2013
- Reference: 2013-133-EN
Fully in line with the objectives of the European Union, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has decided to assist France’s Centre Region with its project for the construction and renovation of lycées (upper secondary schools) and higher education and apprentice training establishments with the triple objective of adapting to requirements, modernising and enhancing the energy efficiency of the Region’s educational infrastructure. The EUR 350m finance contract was signed on Monday 9 September 2013 at the Region's headquarters by François Bonneau, President of the Centre Region, and Philippe de Fontaine Vive, Vice-President of the EIB.
This is a large-scale project in terms of both construction and upgrading to current environmental standards: 114 buildings throughout the Region, including 91 lycées and 16 vocational training establishments, have been targeted with a view to developing high-quality infrastructure for teaching and also for the sports and cultural activities of the young people in the Region. The foremost objective of this project is to create an optimum learning environment combined with high-quality teaching and a vast range of specialised programmes, particularly for the apprentice training centres (CFAs). Energy efficiency also lies at the heart of this project, the aim being to achieve energy savings through the sustainable use of natural resources and efficient waste management. The installation of wood heating systems will therefore be promoted.
This is the EIB’s first direct loan to the Centre Region and, in the current context of shrinking credit supply, this long-term finance on attractive terms is vital for the Region. It ties in with the ongoing quality partnership that has formed between the EIB and the Centre Region, bringing the total of the Bank’s investments in the Region’s territorial development projects to EUR 950m. Other projects financed include, for example, in 2012 the Region's renewable energy project for assisting project promoters via two commercial banks (CASA and BPCE), the Orléans and Tours tramways, Tours university hospital and Orléans regional hospital. At national level, as from January 2013 and following its capital increase, the Bank has with this loan exceeded the EUR 4bn mark for investments in projects that stimulate growth and create jobs.
At the signing of the contract, EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive declared, “I very much welcome this quality partnership with the Centre Region for a project adopted under a policy of environmental excellence and training of young people. The modernisation of lycées and training facilities is crucial for education and sustainable development. And we are responsible for creating the optimum conditions for financing such projects that are drivers of regional economic growth, employment and social cohesion. In this way, we are preparing the future of the younger generation. We are creating the conditions for their success and integration into the professional world.”
François Bonneau stated, “The partnership that has been formalised today between the Bank and the Centre Region is vital as it will enable us to modernise, renovate and further adapt our lycées and apprentice training centres, which constitute powerful tools for the promotion of knowledge. In this context, special attention will be given to the energy efficiency of the buildings. Furthermore, this partnership provides our Region with attractive resources for implementing its policies and maintaining its capacity to invest in the regional economy and employment.”