EIB signs 25-year loan of €100 million with Finnish city of Lahti, targeting renovation works and new construction of several schools and day care centres.
Financing will go towards the modernisation of buildings to improve health and well-being of pupils, teachers and staff in line with the Finnish national curriculum reform of 2016.
Education facilities around Lahti are set for a major upgrade, in part thanks to financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB). In line with the new vision of learning included in the Finnish national curriculum reform of 2016, the City of Lahti in southern Finland is overhauling its education infrastructure. A €100 million loan from the EIB will help finance new construction and major renovations of related buildings in different parts of the city. The project is composed of several sub-projects, ranging from new construction and renovation of day care centres and comprehensive schools to remodelling and upgrading the facilities.
EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros stated: “Finland has implemented one of the most ambitious school redesign projects in Europe, showing a commitment to continue improving the already high-ranking Finnish educational system. With this financing, we will help renew and improve the facilities that will accommodate teaching for the future generation of Finland, something we are pleased to be supporting.”
Mayor of Lahti Pekka Timonen said: “The future success of Lahti is based on the education and skills of our people. We have already invested in education and with this EIB financing we can move ahead with our ambitious plans to provide the best possible world-class environment for our educational system.”
This modernisation is also necessary because of indoor air quality problems in the current facilities, which negatively influence pupils’ performance and the well-being of teachers and staff. In addition to providing healthy, safe and modern learning environments, the facilities will be designed to meet high energy efficiency standards, thus meeting the targets set by Lahti as the European Green Capital 2021. Moreover, by providing new modern facilities, the project aims to improve the resilience of education infrastructure to better adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a EUR 150 million long-term loan to finance small to medium-sized municipal infrastructure upgrading projects in Lahti. Mobility schemes, education, sports, social and health infrastructure as well as civil protection, energy and waste management will be supported by the EU’s bank as part of Lahti’s four-year investment programme, which will run from 2013 to 2016.
The Lahti plant will convert municipal waste into heat and power through the large-scale use of a novel method involving waste gasification, gas cleaning and high-efficiency combustion. With a capacity of 250 000 tons of waste per year and generating 90 MW heat and 50 MW electricity, the project will partially replace a coal-fired plant and sharply reduce landfill disposal in the region.
The EIB has signed three new loan agreements with counterparts in Finland today. Totalling nearly EUR 400 million, the loans will support urban transport and education in the cities of Helsinki and Espoo as well as a combined-heat-and-power plant (CHP) in the City of Lahti.