The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed two new loan agreements with counterparts in northern Finland which support upcoming investment programmes in the cities of Oulu and Rovaniemi.
Vice president Jan Vapaavuori, who is responsible for EIB operations in Finland, said, “These two projects show how the EU bank can deliver added value throughout the country.
“Urban development is high on the agenda for all European institutions, and no less so for the EIB. The bank’s mission is to improve citizens’ quality of life with all the projects we do and the projects in Oulu and Rovaniemi are a very good example of that commitment.”
The EU bank signed a €100 million framework loan with the City of Oulu regarding its investment programme for the years from 2016 to 2020. Specifically, the funds from the EIB will go towards refurbishment of the local street network, real estate renovation projects, as well as upcoming investments in the nursery and school network.
This is the second loan of this type, after a €250 million facility signed in 2013 for Oulu’s 2013 to 2016 investment programme. Last year, the EIB supported the modernisation of Oulu University Hospital with a €75 million loan.
Matti Pennanen, mayor of Oulu, said, “The City of Oulu is pleased to be able to take advantage of the EIB framework loans. The EIB loan is competitive and enables the implementation of the City of Oulu’s investment plan. Overall this long-term funding helps to improve the competitiveness of the Oulu Region.”
A loan facility with the City of Rovaniemi has also been signed. The €100 million municipal framework loan will go towards the city’s six-year investment programme from 2015 to 2020.
In its first project with Rovaniemi, the EIB funds will support investments in a number of small to medium-sized schemes in many different fields. Projects will include a new health centre, sports facilities, improvement of local roads and street lighting, as well as some smaller schemes in education, heating, water treatment and waste management.
Rovaniemi’s mayor, Esko Lotvonen, said, “The City of Rovaniemi is the Lapland Region’s growth centre, with a growing population and evolving industries.
“In addition to tourism, Lapland’s main industries include mining, transport and logistics, and projects relating to renewable energy production. The City of Rovaniemi is creating the prerequisite conditions for the strengthening of these industries.”
He said good traffic connections, accessibility and also public services needed to be secured.
“This will require the city to allocate resources and to invest in the future,” he said. “When carrying out these investments, Rovaniemi’s aims to achieve sustainable development and meet environmental and climate objectives at national and international level.
“The EIB’s framework loan arrangement will create good opportunities for the City of Rovaniemi to accomplish these strategic objectives.”