The European Investment Bank (EIB) is signing a GBP 95 million (approx. EUR 107 million) loan to Triathlon Homes LLP to support the development of accommodation for athletes at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, under the auspices of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA). Over 1300 athletes’ flats will be converted into social housing units after 2012 as part of the overall Games legacy.
In its planning for the 2012 Games, ODA aims to promote a lasting legacy for London and the UK. In the long-term, the Athletes’ Village will contribute to urban regeneration in one of East London’s most deprived areas. Meanwhile, the project is of strategic importance for London’s hosting of the major cultural and sporting event in 2012 which will encourage heightened tourism and economic development for the UK capital.
Simon Brooks, EIB Vice President responsible for lending operations in the UK, said, “The creation of sustainable communities is a key lending objective for the EIB. The Bank is particularly encouraged by the high environmental standards in place in the Athletes’ Village development and we are confident that this project will have a significant positive impact on the quality of life of the families and individuals who will live in there following the Games in 2012.”
The Athletes’ Village project will create over 1300 dual-purpose flats and surrounding community infrastructure, including transport and healthcare services. The flats for the athletes at the 2012 Games will be retrofitted following after the Games to be rendered fit-for-purpose as social and affordable housing units.
The project will be undertaken on a fully regenerated former industrial site and will provide essential infrastructure which supports the development plans of the surrounding London boroughs. The Village and its facilities have been planned to adhere to high energy efficiency standards, contributing to the UK’s goals for energy savings as part of its strategy to fight climate change.
A considerable number of jobs will be created during the construction phase of the Village. In addition, the new housing community in East London will foster lasting employment opportunities for the local communities and beyond.
The EIB in the UK
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the European Union’s long-term financing institution which supports projects promoting European objectives. The EIB made its first loan in the UK in 1973 and since then the EIB has lent almost EUR 70 billion to support the UK economy. In the five years from 2004 to 2008 alone, the EIB financed key investment in the UK to the tune of EUR 18.9 billion (GBP 13.3 billion).
In 2008 alone the Bank allocated EUR 3.8 billion (GBP 3 billion) for UK projects ranging from investment helping UK regional development, to protecting the environment, promoting clean and secure energy sources, improving education facilities, promoting the development of national and regional transport, and supporting the activities of small and medium sized enterprises.