The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 34 million for urban renewal and upgrading of municipal infrastructure and community facilities.

The loan will co-finance selected priority projects from the medium-term capital expenditure programme of the City of Ústí nad Labem, the industrial and administrative centre of the Ústi nad Labem region. Investments will focus on urban renewal and regeneration in specific localities, reflecting the City's development strategy. For example, the co-financed projects will cover the revitalisation of the city centre of Ústi, construction of the trolleybus track to Strekov, completion of the industrial zone in the district of Severní Predlice and the reconstruction of local roads in Ústí.

Mr Ivan Pilip, the EIB Vice-President responsible for the Bank's operations in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, commented: The EIB supports projects targeting modernisation and development of urban infrastructure in Ústí nad Labem, as they will contribute significantly to improving the quality of life of the city's residents and to its economic growth. The EIB loan signed today will provide the Municipality of Ústí with direct access to EIB funds on favourable terms.

Since 1990 the EIB, as the European Union's long-term financing institution, has provided more than EUR 6 billion for projects in the Czech Republic. Ústí nad Labem is among the first Czech municipalities to benefit from EIB lending. The EIB finances projects that promote the economic integration of the Czech Republic within the EU. The Bank aims to strengthen the competitiveness of Czech regions and cities, and to help implement EU environmental standards in the country.

Over the past five years, the EIB has channelled a total of some EUR 23 billion into projects with a direct impact on improving the environment and the quality of urban life in Europe: nearly EUR 3 billion specifically for social housing projects, EUR 10 billion for development, renovation, modernisation and improvement schemes for buildings and infrastructure, and EUR 10 billion for urban public transport.