The European Investment Bank is providing EUR 55 million to the Lombardy Provinces of Varese and Lecco for the financing of their infrastructure investment programme of over EUR 150 million.

The EUR 40 million loan to the Province of Varese is to improve the provincial road network as well as to meet educational objectives and safety standards by upgrading secondary school buildings, including laboratories and sport facilities. Part of the loan will be used for investments in environmental protection, among which the flood protection scheme for the Olona River.

An important portion of the EUR 15 million loan to the Province of Lecco will focus on the extension of a secondary school building. In addition the loan will also support investment in the road network and environmental protection.

The EIB's contribution to improve the provincial infrastructure in the Lombardy Region will be strengthened by the recent decision to finance the Province of Milano.

The 25/30-year loans are intended to finance the European interest components of the three-year public works programmes of the Provinces. These are investments that favour economic and social development or foster research and innovation. In particular, they help to modernise local infrastructure, to promote sustainable development and to protect environmental assets. Furthermore, they may include the development of human capital and the implementation of employment strategies focusing on professional and vocational learning.

The long maturity of the EIB loans will allow an optimal distribution of debt over time, in line with the Italian Budget for Local Authorities. The availability of the Bank's resources will allow for the timely launching of tendering procedures and the prompt implementation of works. Moreover, the competitive EIB rates help to attract further financial resources with beneficial effects on the regional economic development.