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CEB approves € 200 million loan for school infrastructure development in Sweden

30 January 2017

PARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved today a € 200 million loan to the City of Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, for the partial financing of investments aimed at improving and expanding compulsory school facilities throughout the city.

Gothenburg is a growing city of over half a million inhabitants, almost one-fourth of whom were born outside Sweden. Over the next 20 years, the population of the city is estimated to grow by 150,000 persons, the large majority of whom are expected to be asylum-seekers.

To accommodate in particular the increasing number of Gothenburg’s student population, and given that education plays a major part in the integration of migrants and refugees, there is a need for municipal investment in the rehabilitation and expansion of school facilities.

CEB funds will contribute to the City of Gothenburg’s investment programme in compulsory education, aiming to create an additional 12,700 new places by 2025, which represents a 26% increase in current school capacity.

More specifically, the programme envisages the renovation of existing infrastructure including the expansion of school buildings, enhancing the interior of school facilities, and improving energy efficiency and health and safety. It will also cover the construction of new facilities which will make use of innovative pedagogical solutions to create a functional and fun learning environment. Expected to benefit from this programme is the pupil population of Gothenburg aged 6 to 15 years as well as the wider community.

Commenting on the loan, CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel said: “We are glad to be strengthening our cooperation with Sweden with this first CEB loan to the City of Gothenburg. The social integration of migrants and refugees and their families is at the heart of the Bank’s project financing and has been central to our activities since the CEB’s establishment 60 years ago. I am therefore especially pleased that CEB funds will contribute to the social integration of migrant and refugee children in Gothenburg while also helping the city to tackle demographic changes.”

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 41 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AA+ with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable and AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.

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