500 jobs as EU loan backs Cork university’s biggest capital investment

Europe’s long-term lender, the European Investment Bank (EIB), signed a €100m loan agreement with University College Cork on 25 November to support an ambitious €241m development plan, said to be the university’s biggest.

The loan will help UCC, current holder of The Sunday Times University of the Year award, carry out the following works:

  • €64m on student accommodation projects;
  • €37m to build a new Cork University Dental School, Research Centre & Hospital;
  • €27m to fund Western Campus Development including the Cork Science & Innovation Park (Phase 1) & Outdoor Sports Facilities;
  • €90m for a new Student Hub, ICT Services, Facilities upgrade, refurbishment, building extensions as well as flood remedial works and Western Gateway infrastructure;
  • €23m for a new Clinical Medical School for the Cork Hospitals and associated research and health innovation activity.

The funding will also help facilitate a €10 million University investment across University Hospital Waterford, University Hospital Kerry and South Tipperary General Hospital.

More than 500 construction jobs are expected during the investment term.

"This will be the largest investment in capital projects at UCC in our history," said UCC President Dr. Michael Murphy. "The scale and ambition of the infrastructural developments align directly to key focus areas for the future, namely enhancing student experience and building on our innovation and health facilities."

Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank Vice President, said: "This will transform education and student facilities for future generations and ensure Cork’s role as one of Ireland’s leading research centres for years to come, as well as creating jobs and training opportunities during construction."

Over the last five years the EIB has provided €512m in loans for Ireland, which is the fifth largest country of operation for European Investment Bank support for universities.

Image: The Long Hall and the Clock Tower of the UCC quadrangle (Bjørn Christian Tørrissen/Creative Commons)

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