Ireland’s sovereign development fund has partnered with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support a €230m re-development of Dublin City University (DCU).
The university said the capital provided by the EIB and the €7.9bn Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) would “significantly enhance” its ability to conduct research, while also funding the expansion of its on-campus accommodation and allowing it to build new sports facilities.
The five-year development plan will see some of the costs met by the two investors, with additional funding supplied through donations, government grants and the institutions’ own reserves.
Eugene O’Callaghan, director at the ISIF, emphasised that investment in education was one of the key ways to boost growth, part of the fund’s remit since it was restructured and given a dual goal of stimulating the Irish economy while operating on a commercial basis.
“Education is a key enabler of national competitiveness, and being able to provide commercial funding for such a critical part of DCU’s facilities aligns strongly with our dual investment mandate,” he said.
“We have also utilised one of the fund’s key differentiating features – our long-term investment horizon – to facilitate significant parallel funding by the EIB.”
While details of the funding provided by the ISIF were not made public, the EIB said it would provide a 23-year, €76m loan, covering around one-third of the costs.
EIB vice-president Jonathan Taylor said the bank was keen to support long-term investment that improved economic opportunities and social infrastructure.
The loan was announced only days after the bank unveiled a £280m (€395m) loan to fund the re-development of the UCL’s campuses in Bloomsbury and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, both located in London.
For its part, the ISIF identified education as a key area when it unveiled its investment strategy last year.
At the time, it highlighted that funding projects in the area would improve competitiveness and could see it fund both research facilities and student accommodation.