The European Investment Bank, the European Union's long-term financing institution is lending £105 million (EUR 160 million) (1) to modernise 29 schools in Glasgow, Scotland.

The finance goes to 3ED (Glasgow) Limited, selected by Glasgow City Council, to re-build, refurbish and modernise 28 secondary schools and 1 primary school in the City of Glasgow. The project also includes the provision of an information and technology system in each of the secondary schools. As the private sector concessionaire, 3ED (Glasgow) Limited is also responsible for the maintenance and the provision of facilities management at these schools which will have the capacity to serve about 30000 pupils. The concessionaire is owned by The Miller Group, Amey plc and Halifax plc.

Commenting on the financing, EIB Vice-President Peter Sedgwick said: "the EIB is very pleased to be financing this investment in Glasgow schools as it will substantially improve the educational infrastructure for all secondary schools students in Glasgow and will in particular, by incorporating ICT facilities (Information and Communication Technologies), facilitate and encourage the development of new information technology skills by all pupils. The EIB loan of £105 million is the largest EIB loan made to the educational sector in the UK to-date and is part of its on-going investment programme in this sector both in Scotland and elsewhere in the United Kingdom." The project also meets the Bank's objective of supporting investment in assisted areas.

The EIB gives high priority to financing Public Private Partnerships both for social infrastructure such as for Education as well as for Economic Infrastructure. Glasgow PFI scheme is designed to introduce private sector skills and disciplines to the delivery and management of public sector projects and services both to improve efficiency and reduce costs. The EIB is closely involved in a number of such education investment schemes, which have already been financed (Falkirk, Sheffield) as well as others which are in preparation with local authorities.

The European Investment Bank, the European Union's long-term lending institution, finances capital investment furthering EU integration, in particular: regional development, trans-European networks in transport, telecoms and energy; industrial competitiveness and integration; SMEs; environmental protection; and energy security. It also operates outside the EU within the framework of the EU's co-operation external policy. Owned by the Member States, the EIB raises its funds on capital markets (AAA issuer). In 1999, the EIB lent some EUR 32 billion, of which EUR 3.3 billion (some £ 2.2 billion) in the UK.

(1) 1 EUR: 0.613400 GBP.