CEB loan to Department of Gironde in France to support construction and modernisation of public secondary schools

25 November 2021

BORDEAUX – Vice-Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Tomáš Boček, and President of the Departmental Council of Gironde in France, Jean-Luc Gleyze, today signed the first direct CEB loan to the Department worth €100 million to support the construction and renovation of public lower secondary schools (collèges).

Jean-Luc Gleyze and Tomáš Boček
Jean-Luc Gleyze and Tomáš Boček
Responding to the recent demographic growth in Gironde, the project aims to invest in construction, refurbishment, maintenance and upgrading of eight lower secondary public schools and related equipment over the period 2021-2027.

“The loan that we have just signed marks the beginning of the Bank’s relationship with Gironde,” said Vice-Governor Boček. “In addition to increasing the enrolment capacities and improving energy efficiency, this project will have significant impact on the preparation of adolescents in Gironde for their future studies and demands of the labour market. Indeed, as a bank with a uniquely strong social mandate, we are pleased to support the Department’s efforts to ensure that every student has access to high-quality education and an equal chance to enter the labour market.”

With more than 1.6 million inhabitants, Gironde is the seventh largest French department in terms of population, nearly half of which lives in the metropolitan area of Bordeaux. In the past 15 years, the Department has gained an average of 20,000 new inhabitants per year, which makes 1,000 to 1,500 additional secondary school students each year and is an equivalent to more than one lower secondary school.

To meet this challenge, the Department’s plan worth €670 million aims to construct thirteen new lower secondary schools, as well as required sports facilities. The plan also foresees renovation and modernisation of ten existing schools to bring them up to safety and operating standards, especially in terms of energy efficiency and accessibility for persons with reduced mobility.

“We welcome the fact that the Council of Europe Development Bank is financing equipment and facilities that address concrete needs at local level,” said Jean-Luc Gleyze President of the Departmental Council of Gironde.

With demographic forecasts predicting an increase of nearly 10,000 students by 2027, education policy is a main priority for the department to enable young Girondins to prepare for their future and their professional and social integration under the best possible conditions.

France is a founding member of the CEB. Over the past decade, the Bank has played a pivotal role in funding social investments worth nearly €3 billion, ranging from improved infrastructure in the health sector, education, mobility, environmental protection and housing for low-income persons to support for MSMEs. France also contributes to the CEB’s resources in the form of donations. It has contributed €3 million to the CEB’s Migrants and Refugees Fund (MRF), a grant mechanism created in October 2015 to help its member states deal with the migrant and refugee crisis. For more information, click here.

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 42 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, AAA with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable, AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook positive and AAA* with Scope 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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