Newcastle University is set to receive a European Investment Bank (EIB) loan totalling £100 million that will be used to fund projects to improve the university over the next four years.
The loan is the largest amount awarded to a university based outside London and the South East. The Executive Director of Finance at Newcastle University, Richard Dale, welcomed the loan as he said, “[The] university continues to be a very popular destination for students and our world class research is part of that appeal. By enhancing and expanding our facilities for students alongside the development of cutting edge research buildings we will secure our future as one of the UK’s leading universities. The EIB loan will help us to deliver these ambitious growth plans.”
The loan provides fifty percent of the funding required for the university’s ambitious expansion program and it is expected to last thirty years. Part of the loan will be spent redeveloping Richardson Road student accommodation, which is expected to cost £75.5 million. The plans for the accommodation were approved in December 2015 and the securement of the EIB loan was crucial for it to go ahead.
The Urban Sciences Building on Science Central will also be redeveloped. It is estimated to cost £58 million and it will become the new home of the University’s School of Computing Science after completion in 2017.
The remaining part of the loan will be spent on refurbishing the Armstrong building, located on the main part of campus, and the National Ageing Science and Innovation Centre. This will cost £40 million.
The European Investment Bank decided to grant the loan during a visit to Science Central. They also announced that they will invest a £250 million loan to upgrade and expand the Northern Powergrid infrastructure which will allow smarter electricity distribution to 3.9 million homes across the North East and Yorkshire.
The Vice President of the European Investment Bank, Jonathan Taylor, said, “Investment to improve teaching facilities and expand student facilities is crucial to enable UK universities to strengthen their local and global role. This new £100m loan to Newcastle University demonstrates both the ambition and quality of their campus development plan and the European Investment Bank’s firm commitment to support investment in leading universities across Europe. World class innovation, such as the smart grid research between the Institute for Sustainability and Northern Powergrid, will strengthen regional skills in the years to come.”