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Limousin Regional Council President Gérard Vandenbroucke and European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle signed a EUR 38m finance contract in Naves for the construction and renovation of the Region's educational and training facilities. The signing ceremony took place in the Lycée Edgard Pisani, following the opening of new stalls for raising calves on mother's milk.

Fully in line with the objectives of the European Union, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has decided to assist France’s Limousin Region with its project for the construction and renovation of lycées (upper secondary schools) and training centres, which has the triple objective of adapting to requirements, modernising and enhancing the energy efficiency of the Region’s educational infrastructure. It is the EIB's first direct loan to the Limousin Region, the key component being the renovation and upgrading of nine state lycées* and a nurses' training institute and the renovation of a building to accommodate the Regional Contemporary Art Collection (FRAC) of the Limousin Region. These operations represent a total investment of EUR 84.5m. The foremost objective of this loan is to create an optimum learning environment combined with high-quality teaching. Energy efficiency also lies at the heart of this project, the aim being to achieve energy savings through the sustainable use of natural resources.

“This operation is of symbolic importance, since it is the first time that the EU bank is financing directly a project of the Limousin Region," remarked EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle at the signing ceremony. "It is a project adopted and implemented under a policy of environmental excellence and training of young people. The modernisation of lycées and training facilities is crucial for education and sustainable development. And we are responsible for creating the optimum conditions for financing such projects that are drivers of regional economic growth, employment and social cohesion."

Limousin Regional Council President Gérard Vandenbroucke stated, "This EUR 38m loan contract will enable the education and training projects of the Limousin Region to be financed on favourable terms." He went on to point out, "The Region is in a position to enter into a contract with the EIB because it is undertaking considerable investments in its lycées and in its youth in general. In addition, this partnership with the EIB confirms the confidence in the Region's sound financial health and, in particular, its ability to finance its investments with a balanced combination of savings and borrowings."

Thanks to the EIB’s AAA rating, the Region will receive the funds on attractive financing terms, which will help to optimise the overall financing plan for the Region's investment programme. Furthermore, this loan is in line with the EIB's activity in support of projects promoting growth and employment, for which the Bank earmarked nearly EUR 8.5bn in new finance in 2014. This mobilisation of resources is continuing in 2015, notably as part of the Investment Plan for Europe to stimulate growth, boost employment and restore confidence in Europe's economy.

*Lycée Cabanis, Lycée Jean Favard, Lycée d’Arsonval, Lycée Pisani, Lycée Raymond Loewy, Cité Scolaire Limosin, Cité Mixte Renoir, LTMB, EPL de Limoges et de Nord Haute-Vienne.