UCD borrows €90 million

By Catriona Hughes

The European Investment Bank agreed to grant UCD and its Belfield Campus a loan of €90 million on Thursday, November 17.

UCD was not alone, as the ESB also agreed a loan of €235 million from the bank, in what is the first instance of borrowing from the EU Government-owned bank this year.

The €90 million loan to UCD’s campus is for the development of six buildings. It will develop the second phase of the UCD Science Centre, the refurbishment and construction of student accommodation, and a new law school.

UCD’s SU President, Pat de Brún, commented on the issue, “The €90million loan which UCD has availed of is from the European Investment Bank, which invests in capital building projects in institutions across Europe. The interest rate is only a fraction of a loan from a commercial bank and receiving this loan represents a coup for the university.”

The plan to locate both academia and industry on the same campus will increase links with key Irish companies. This development will also reduce the environmental impact of the 2,000 staff and 24,500 students on the campus.

Pat de Brún also stated that, “The money was applied for purely to invest in new capital projects for the university which will be self-funding, and shows the ambition of the university in developing a world class educational institution.”

UCD received a setback recently after discovering that its Sutherland School of Law will lose approximately €15m worth of Exchequer funding as part of a series of cutbacks.

However, a spokesperson for the university told UCD’s student newspaper, the Observer, that the planned project would still go ahead despite the obvious setback, “The university is committed to doing everything possible to ensure the project goes ahead, despite the difficult circumstances.”

Prof Colin Scott, the Dean of Law at UCC, commented on the news saying, “UCD Sutherland School of Law is an excellent project and the university is fully committed to proceeding with it.”

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