The European Investment Bank has co-financed the construction of a new production facility for Denmark's radio and TV programmes. A (second) loan of EUR 94 million (DKK 700 million) was given to Danmarks Radio (DR), Denmark's national broadcasting institution, to allow DR to bring its activities together at one location. The first loan to DR of EUR 107 million dates back to June 2001. The support for this project from the EIB, the EU's financing institution, fits in with the Bank's objective to develop new media production facilities in the framework of its Innovation Initiative i2i.

The backing for this project also endorses EU policies in the audio-visual industry. The role of public broadcasting has been explicitly acknowledged in the Treaty of Amsterdam and is linked to the democratic, social and cultural needs of each society and to the need to safeguard plurality in mass media.

The Lisbon European Council and the Bank's Innovation 2000 Initiative (i2i) have emphasised the need to support the development in production and distribution of new media. The achievement of the EU and the Bank's objective also requires investments in infrastructure into which future technologies can be installed. In this context the Danish project is an example. Danmarks Radio currently produces its radio and television programmes in thirteen locations all over Copenhagen. A new, up-to-date production facility for radio and TV programmes, located in the Ørestad development area in Copenhagen, is now under construction. At the same time, technologically outdated equipment will be replaced in DR's regional offices in other parts of Denmark. Further investments will be made in new technological developments such as digitalisation and online services. The new audiovisual programme production centre in Ørestad, an area planned to become a centre for educational and cultural institutions, is the key element of DR's overall modernisation for the future.

Mr Tom Barrett, the EIB Director responsible for Denmark, said: This capital investment project demonstrates once more the EIB's added value and its ability to provide long maturities for these kind of important projects. With the signing of this loan, EIB lending to the audio-visual sector now extends to over EUR 500 million since the start of its Innovation Initiative i2i.

Mr Jørgen Kleener, Chairman of the Board of Danmarks Radio said: Public service broadcasting has an important role to play in promoting cultural diversity, in providing educational programming, in guaranteeing objective and pluralistic information and in supplying quality entertainment. The project will allow DR to ensure high quality delivery of these services and to remain an independent national public broadcasting institution in Denmark.

The European Investment Bank finances capital investment furthering EU integration. Owned by the EU Member States, the EIB raises its funds on capital markets (AAA issuer). In 2002, the EIB lent some EUR 39 billion, of which EUR 1 027 million in Denmark.