The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending PLN 254.2 million (some EUR 65 million) to re-develop the post-industrial city centre of Katowice, particularly the cultural district. The EIB loan will help to increase the attractiveness and strengthen the competitiveness of this industrial centre of the Silesia Region located in the South of Poland with a catchment area of some six million residents.
The EIB funds will finance the construction of an International Congress Centre providing accommodation for up to 8 000 people in theatre seating and related public areas and services so that it can host international scientific congresses. The project also covers the construction of a Concert Hall for Poland’s Radio Symphony Orchestra that will make it possible to expand the activities of this famous orchestra in Katowice. The new complex will include 116 practice rooms, offices, storage, etc, plus a 1 800-seat combined practice auditorium and concert hall, and a 300-seat combined practice room and hall for chamber music.
Both the Congress Centre and the Concert Hall are located in the 'Cultural Axis' of the City of Katowice, which used to be a hard coal mine and is crucial to the city’s development due to its close proximity to the city centre. The project also involves investments to develop the connecting infrastructure in the cultural district, i.e. streets, utilities, sewerage, etc.
The City of Katowice is the recipient of the EIB loan and the project promoter. The loan represents a continuation of the successful cooperation between the EIB and Katowice. The Bank has previously provided three loans to Katowice amounting to some EUR 93 million for upgrading municipal infrastructure.
The EIB is the long-term lending bank of the European Union. Its main task is to contribute towards the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the EU Member States. Besides supporting projects in the EU Member States, its lending activities also include financing investments in future Member States of the EU and EU partner countries.
The EIB raises substantial volumes of funds on the capital markets, which it lends on favourable terms to projects furthering EU policy objectives. It is the largest supranational borrower and its consistent AAA rating is underpinned by firm shareholder support, a strong capital base, excellent asset quality, conservative risk management and a sound funding strategy.