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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide GBP 109 million for the construction of a new District and General Hospital in Dumfries that will ensure modern health-care for people living in the south-west of Scotland. The 26 year loan from Europe’s long-term lending institution represents around half of the project cost and represents the second new hospital in Scotland to be supported by the EIB this year following confirmation of GBP 83 million support for the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children agreed in February.

“The European Investment Bank recognises that investment in new hospitals is essential to reflect Europe’s ageing population and ensure the highest-quality of medical care. Patients using these two new Scottish hospitals will benefit for years to come, hospital staff will use the latest techniques and local smaller companies will play a key role during construction. Europe’s long-term lending institution is fully committed to supporting long-term investment that improves the quality of life of people living in Scotland and strengthens economic activity in the country. Support for the new Dumfries and Galloway hospital and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children follows recent EIB backing of new transport, education energy, water and telecoms infrastructure across Scotland.” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President.

“Reaching financial close represents a pivotal moment for the delivery of the new hospital. The deal struck with High Wood Health represents excellent value for money for the Board over the duration of the entire contract that exceeds prior expectations.  It incorporates an ambitious, innovative high quality design that is energy efficient, sustainable and adaptable and will enable the delivery of the Board’s new model of care.  The deal will also bring with it numerous community benefits that include 150 new jobs entrants, 36 modern apprenticeships and a range of opportunities for small and medium businesses, boosting the local economy and contributing to economic regeneration."  said Dennis O’Keeffe, NHS Dumfries and Galloway Project Director for the new hospital.

Once complete in 2018 the new Dumfries hospital will serve 150,000 people living in the south-west of Scotland and replace the outdated current hospital. Patients will benefit from the latest healthcare provision and en-suite single rooms that reduce the risk of cross infection and provide more dignity and privacy. The project promoter is the NHS Dumfries and Galloway Health Board and the scheme is being implemented under the Scottish government’s non-profit distribution model.

Redevelopment of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children will bring together paediatric, specialist neonatal and adult and children’s emergency care, as well as neurology on one site once the new six-storey hospital is completed next to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in 2017. This will not only provide the highest standards of medical care, but also strengthen Edinburgh’s academic strength in medicine.

Across the UK the EIB has supported investment in the new Royal Liverpool and Alder Hey hospitals, Southmead hospital in Bristol and the Royal Stoke University Hospital. Future financing of the new Papworth Hospital in Cambridge and the new Midland Metropolitan hospital in the West Midlands is currently being examined.

The EIB works closely with the Scottish government, business community and key stakeholders, such as the Scottish Futures Trust and the European Commission, to support long-term investment in Scotland. This included support for 11 new schools in Dumfries and Galloway that have been built since the financing was agreed seven years ago.

Projects financed by the EIB in Scotland last year included completion of the M8 motorway link between Glasgow and Edinburgh and the Aberdeen western bypass, upgrading Scotia Gas Networks and Scottish Hydro’s gas and electricity networks and investment in social housing in the New Gorbals in Glasgow.

Last year the European Investment Bank provided a record GBP 6 billion for long-term investment in key infrastructure across the UK.