The European Investment Bank has agreed to provide GBP 56 million to build seven new secondary schools in Bradford, Harrogate, Keighley, Bradford and Huddersfield. The brand new schools, to include the latest computing, teaching and catering facilities will benefit more than 8,500 Yorkshire school children and replace outdated and redundant buildings.

Over the last year the European Investment Bank has provided GBP 281 million for investment at 46 new state schools being built across the country under the Priority Schools Building Programme, including the Yorkshire schools in the 5th and final batch agreed earlier this week.

“Today’s agreement unlocks much needed construction of new schools to replace outdated facilities in Yorkshire that will both improve education and benefit local construction companies. Our support for similar school investment under the wider Priority School Building Programme is already transforming schools elsewhere across the country. The European Investment Bank has a strong track record of supporting new hospitals, as well as crucial water, transport, energy, higher education and social housing investment in Yorkshire and we look forward to confirming support for new projects in Yorkshire in the coming months, as part of our commitment to backing long-term investment across the UK.” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice-President.

The seven schools to be transformed are the Samuel Lister Academy in Bingley, Whitcliffe Mount Business and Enterprise College and All Saints Catholic College in Kirklees, Belle Vue Boys' School and Carlton Bolling College in Bradford, Oakbank School in Keighley and Harrogate High School.

Building work has already commenced at four of the schools and will start shortly at the other sites.

The Priority Schools Building Programme is a centrally managed programme set up to address the needs of the schools most in need of urgent repair. By grouping school development schemes aggregating funding requirements, the Education Funding Agency has been able to access cheaper finance, and streamline procurement for each batch of schools. The long-term loan from the European Investment Bank represents around 40% of the overall project costs.

Over the last decade the European Investment Bank has provided more than GBP 4 billion for education investment across the UK. This includes transformational investment at 30 universities and 42 further education colleges across the country.

Recent education investment in Yorkshire supported by the European Investment Bank includes construction at Bradford College, Leeds City College and the Universities of Hull and York, and schools in Barnsley, Bradford and Sheffield. Last year alone the EIB supported work at 77 schools across the country to construction new schools and upgrade existing facilities.

Long-term investment in Yorkshire supported by the European Investment Bank across other sectors includes the Green Port in Hull, investment by Yorkshire Water and upgrading hospitals in Wakefield and Pontefract.

Lending by the EIB in the UK last year totalled GBP 5.6 billion and represented the largest annual engagement since the start of EIB lending in the UK in 1973. This supported nearly GBP 16 billion of overall investment in 40 projects across the UK, which schools, university campuses, hospitals, upgraded energy links, renewable energy projects and water infrastructure.