Figures published by the European Investment Bank (EIB) show that investment by the EIB in the UK increased to €7.77 billion in 2015, up 10.8% on the previous year’s lending.
EIB loans fund vital infrastructure upgrade projects such as important transport links, and new hospitals and schools, as well as boosting UK-based research and development work that contributes directly to the growth of the UK economy.
Investment in the UK accounted for 11.2% of all EIB lending into the 28 EU member states. Since 2012 the UK has more than doubled the volume ofEIB investment and increased its share of total lending within the EU by over a third (37%).
2015’s EIB investment includes the new European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which was established earlier this year by the EIB and the European Commission to enable the EIB to undertake additional lending and boost private-sector investment. UK projects received €972 million through the EFSI, one third of all EFSI-supported lending in 2015.
EIB lending in 2015 continued the trend of the past five years by primarily targeting infrastructure, particularly in the key strategic areas of the energy, transport and water sectors, which received 67% (€5.2 billion) of the year’sEIB financing. 2015 also saw EIB support for UK education projects in the UK more than doubling, including a series of loans to fund the building of new schools and university campus investment.
Commenting on the EIB figures, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:
“Over the past few years the government has focused on increasing the UK’s share of EIB loans, and this is paying off with record levels of investment. 2015’s record lending builds on our strong record of securingEIB investment to help grow our economy and is a vote of confidence in the UK and our economic plan.”