Investment Plan for Europe

Creating jobs and stimulating economic growth is one of the European Commission’s top priorities and a major plan launched in 2014 is now doing exactly that through smart investment.

The Investment Plan for Europe aims to generate at least €315 billion of funding for projects in key strategic areas to get more people back to work.

Under the plan, major investors have better access to viable projects throughout Europe and it’s now easier for SMEs, local authorities, universities and individuals to source finance for innovative ventures.

The plan is already showing results, with over €370bn of investments approved by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) as of December 2018 and many Irish SMEs, start-up businesses and local authorities are set to benefit from the initiative.

Ireland is already benefitting from the Investment Plan for Europe as a major project to build 14 primary health care centres around the country was one of the first to receive pre-financing.

The EIB and the EIF agreed to fund up to €70 million of construction costs for the centres, which will create thousands of construction jobs as well as numerous training and apprenticeship opportunities.

When completed the care centres will bring improved health services to an estimated 100,000 Irish citizens.

Another major project which has already received significant financial backing is the relocation of port operations in Cork from Tivoli and the city docks to Ringaskiddy, with the Cork Container Terminal at Ringaskiddy launched in June 2018, with the financial support of the European Investment Bank.

An agreement between the EIF and Bank of Ireland to fund Irish projects that meet Investment Plan criteria has also been signed while EIF financing under the EFSI amounts to €10 million and is expected to trigger €140 million in investments and benefit 50 SMEs and start-ups.

Micro-loans and loans are available for entrepreneurs in Ireland looking for finance. EIF intermediaries here are Microfinance Ireland, Allied Irish Banks (AIB) and Bank of Ireland.

The European Commission has published a brochure designed to help local authorities and project promoters make full use of the opportunities of combining the EFSI and ESI Funds.

There’s also lots of information available for anybody looking to find out more about Investment Plan for Europe.

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