CEB approves €85 million loan to support social development in Ireland

20 November 2017

PARIS – The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) has approved a €85 million loan to support social projects in Limerick City, Ireland’s third largest urban centre, as part of the city’s major ongoing social investment programme. 

The loan will contribute to Limerick’s cross-cutting social development strategy ‘Limerick 2030’, which is aimed at the regeneration and development of Limerick, focusing in particular on key sites of the city.

More specifically, the CEB funds will be used for the development of the Opera site, located in the northern part of Limerick. The new development will comprise a city employment campus providing office accommodation in blocks of varying sizes. It will also involve the adaptive reuse of existing heritage buildings on the site and the construction of a new public square with pedestrian links to adjacent city streets. 

The Opera site employment campus is expected to meet the growing demand for high-quality office accommodation in Limerick. In addition to generating jobs, the loan provided by the CEB will protect the cultural and historical heritage of Limerick, while also helping to advance the modernisation of the city core. 

The Opera site development project, which is co-financed by the CEB and the EIB in the amount of €85 million from each institution, has an estimated total cost volume of over €200 million. 

Commenting on the project approved, CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel said: “This loan reaffirms the excellent cooperation between the CEB and Ireland. I am pleased that the Bank will be contributing to the investment programme ‘Limerick 2030’ by supporting Limerick’s urban regeneration, which is expected to have significant benefits for the local population and the wider community. Improving living conditions is an integral part of the Bank’s firm focus on promoting sustainable development in CEB member countries.” 

Ireland, which became a CEB member in 2004, has availed of CEB financing in several areas, including the creation and preservation of viable jobs, social housing for low-income persons, and the development of public infrastructure.

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 positive 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.