>@EIB/To be defined

The aim of the EUR 185m finance contract signed on Wednesday 4 December by Ségolène Royal, President of the Poitou-Charentes Region, and Philippe de Fontaine Vive, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) is to provide young people in Poitou-Charentes with optimum training and apprenticeship conditions to give them the best possible chance of a successful life.

Given the current market credit crunch, the principal advantage of this loan is that it provides the Region with very favourable financing terms thanks to the EIB's "AAA" rating.

This is a large-scale project in terms of the renovation and upgrading of infrastructure: 38 lycées, seven vocational schools and eight higher education institutions have already been identified for action. The project aims to support the Region’s policy of education and environmental excellence and supply the infrastructure needed for high-quality vocational and technical education, particularly in the area of apprenticeships for which there is very strong demand in Poitou-Charentes.

Energy efficiency lies at the heart of this project, the aim being to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while supporting environmentally-friendly economic activities.

The EIB’s support follows on from the EUR 200m loan advanced in 2009 in support of the photovoltaics development plan.

“I very much welcome this quality partnership with the Poitou-Charentes Region and its President for a project adopted under a policy of environmental excellence and training of young people”, remarked Philippe de Fontaine Vive at the signing ceremony.

“This is a large-scale project of importance to the EIB. It is a concrete example of our priority commitment to growth and employment in France. And as stated at the second EU Youth Employment Summit held three weeks ago at the Elysée Palace, we must act together now. By creating optimum training conditions, we are giving all of the region’s young people the chance to find a job. That is the very purpose of the commitment we are making today alongside the Region.”

This loan continues the EIB’s unprecedented commitment to growth and employment in France, to which the Bank has already dedicated EUR 6bn since January 2013, which represents an increase in activity of more than 60% compared to 2012.

“Following an agreement signed in 2009 between the Region and the EIB to support the development of photovoltaics, which has made Poitou-Charentes a pioneering region in that field, the Region and the EIB are again joining forces to provide pupils and teachers with optimum teaching conditions and give every young person the chance to succeed”, stated Ségolène Royal, President of the Poitou-Charentes Region. “The financing will be centred on existing buildings with a multiannual investment plan for training, education, research and higher education involving the construction, rehabilitation and upgrading of energy-efficient lycées, apprentice training centres and research centres.”

In recognition of the quality of the Region’s signature and budgetary governance, the EIB guarantees substantial additional finance with a long repayment period that can be tapped by the Region over five years as and when needed in accordance with its priorities.