EIB backing unlocks GBP 1 billion social and urban investment across London

Job creation, quality of life and health standards across London will benefit from GBP 1 billion of new urban renewal, social housing and energy efficiency investment over the next four years following agreement of a new GBP 500 million lending programme by the European Investment Bank to be matched by financing from the London Green Fund and boroughs across the capital.

The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham today became the first borough to benefit from a new GBP 500m investment package for urban infrastructure, new and upgraded social housing and energy efficiency projects to be provided by the European Investment Bank. This is the first multi-sector engagement by Europe’s long-term lending institution with a group of local authorities in the UK, and was supported by the Greater London Authority.

The first GBP 150 million of this package is earmarked for investment in Barking and Dagenham and was agreed today between Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council and Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for the UK. It is expected that a first tranche of funding of GBP 89 million will be made available for investment in the borough in the coming weeks.

Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President said:

“London’s success as a global city requires considerable investment to cater for a growing population. The European Investment Bank looks forward to supporting the construction and upgrade of family homes, reducing energy bills for homes and public buildings, and improving schools in the capital. We are particularly pleased that Dagenham and Barking will be first borough to benefit from the new scheme. Urban renewal under the new programme will not only improve the quality of life and health of Londoners, but create jobs where they are most needed.”

Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council said:

“This is a very welcome and innovative approach which will allow us develop and grow our borough by working with our partners in and outside London to deliver much needed infrastructure as London moves east. We are proud that Barking and Dagenham is leading the way, thinking outside the box to not only build high quality homes and a sustainable community while developing a local, skilled workforce and improve employment opportunities for our residents.”

The London Green Fund (LGF) is a £100 million fund set up to invest in schemes that will cut London’s carbon emission. The fund was launched in October 2009 by the Mayor of London.

Matthew Pencharz, the Mayor of London’s Senior Environment & Energy Advisor, said:

“The London Green Fund does fantastic work to reduce waste, increase energy efficiency and cut the capital’s carbon emissions. I am delighted that the fund is supporting this significant investment from the European Investment Bank. This scheme in Barking and Dagenham will deliver huge environmental benefits and create vital jobs in the area.”

The investment in Barking and Dagenham will include 560 new affordable homes on the edge of Barking Town Centre to help bring a much wider investment programme including schools, leisure facilities, energy efficiency measures and help to bring more housing development. It is envisaged that all of this investment will contribute to assisting local young apprentices, low-skilled workers and long-term unemployed people from the area into work opportunities. This is envisaged as the first of a long term partnership with the EIB which will also help other sources of funding to help regenerate Barking and Dagenham.

Last year the European Investment Bank provided nearly GBP 5 billion for long-term investment across the UK. Recent engagement in London has supported key infrastructure projects such as Crossrail, the London Overground and widening of the M25, hospital investment, improvements to electricity distribution, water supply and wastewater treatment and new affordable housing in Hackney and south London.