>@EIB/Tim Stubbings - University of Kent
©EIB/Tim Stubbings - University of Kent

Teaching and research facilities at the University of Kent are to benefit from a £75m capital injection from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The loan funding, repayable over a period of up to 25 years, will support the University’s £211m five-year estates capital investment plan.

It will advance the existing Templeman Library development at the University’s Canterbury campus and support improvements to both academic and teaching spaces at its Medway campus. In addition, the funds will be used to develop a new building for the University’s business and mathematics schools and provide additional space for the University’s academic schools that have recently seen significant growth. 

Plans for new student facilities are also being developed, including the construction of a Student Administration Building which will provide a one-stop-shop service to students. Other University buildings are to be updated to reduce energy costs by an estimated 19%. The additional funds will also benefit the local community in the shape of new facilities for the Kent Law Clinic, the University’s outstanding pro-bono legal advice service.

The funding support was formally agreed by the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow, and Jonathan Taylor, Vice President of the European Investment Bank on 13 November 2014.

Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow said: ‘As a top 20 university, we have a commitment to teaching and research excellence and to delivering the best possible student experience. We are delighted that our track record in delivering extensive and large scale development projects in support of this commitment has been recognised by the European Investment Bank. This is yet another indicator of the importance of Europe to the UK’s universities.’

Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President: ‘Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President said ‘Investment in research and teaching facilities at leading universities is essential for Europe’s competitiveness and to ensure that students gain skills necessary for the global economy. The significant new developments at the University of Kent backed by the European Investment Bank will build on the institution's strengths. The EIB is very pleased to support this university as part of our broader commitment to long-term investment in higher education.’

Construction work on some of these projects is already underway and is expected to finish by 2018. It is anticipated that this work will directly benefit the local economy, including the provision of additional construction jobs.

This activity is part of an extensive period of University investment in its facilities. Other recent expansion projects have included over £13.6m spent on enhanced learning and teaching spaces and £4.8m for new and improved fitness, dance and sports facilities.

In the last 5 years the European Investment Bank has provided more than GBP 1.6 billion for significant campus development by 26 higher and further education institutions across the UK that has contributed to improvements in teaching and research facilities and campus life.  Last year the EIB provided nearly GBP 5 billion for investment in water, energy, transport, health and education projects as well as corporate investment in the UK.

The EIB transaction was supported by lawyers, Cripps LLP (Tunbridge Wells) and Treasury Management Consultancy Firm, Murja Limited (Essex).