European Investment Bank funds school upgrades in Croydon

7 Sep 15

The London Borough of Croydon is to receive £102m from the European Investment Bank to improve schools across the borough, the first time that an EIB loan has been agreed for this purpose.

The 25-year loan will help the council invest in building and upgrading 38 schools to provide the 5,182 primary school places and 2,100 secondary places that it is estimated are needed in the next three years.

A total of 6 new primary schools and the upgrade and extension of 25 others. Six new secondary schools will also be built as will a new school for children with special needs.

Announcing the new funding in a visit to the borough on Thursday, European Investment Bank vice president Jonathan Taylor said he expected to announce further support for UK schools in the coming months.

“The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting long-term investment that improves lives and opportunities in London and across the UK,” he said.

“This significant new loan will not only allow future generations of Croydon students to benefit from better schools, but also help to ensure that the borough can provide thousands of additional schools places required in the next few years.”

Simon Hall, Croydon’s cabinet member for finance and treasury, said the authority was committed to meeting unprecedented demand for school places.

“At a time of increasingly tight finances and tougher government grants, including in education, this loan provides crucial additional resources offering better value for money than more traditional loans,” he added.

EIB funding can also form part of the mix in the government’s Priority School Building Programme, and schools minister Lord Nash announced today that 22 schools were to reopen for the new term having been renovated under the PSBF.

In the biggest round of refurbishments to date under the programme, which replaced the last Labour government’s Building Schools for the Future initiative, Nash said the start of this new school year marked an important milestone.

“As part of this one nation government’s commitment to social justice we are ensuring every child, regardless of background, has access to world class schools,” he said.

“These schools will give young people across the country the modern learning environment they need to unlock their potential.”

Over the two phases of the PSBP, a total of 537 schools will be renovated in projects worth a total of £4.4bn.

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