European Investment Bank to support Vilnius’ urban investment programme
EIB Vice President, Jan Vapaavuori (left), and Vilnius Mayor, Remigijus Šimašius (right), sign the agreement
On September 15, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Municipality of Vilnius signed the first part of a EUR 50 million loan facility to support the city’s investment programme for the coming years.
The first part of the agreed loan is worth EUR 25 millon, and will be used for investing in the renewal of urban infrastructure, and the construction of the Western bypass around Vilnius.
The investment programme of the City of Vilnius concerns several areas, including the modernisation and renovation of several educational facilities, such as kindergartens, schools and music institutes.
Other items on the investment agenda are the renovation and modernisation of the recreational areas on the banks of the River Neris, including the creation of cycling paths and the construction of the Western bypass around Vilnius.
Šimašius and the EIB delegation overlook the city
The loan agreement was signed in Vilnius Municipality building by Vilnius Mayor, Remigijus Šimašius, and the EIB Vice President Jan Vapaavuori, who commented: “Vilnius is a growing city that has to address the changing needs of its population.
„As the mission of the EIB is to improve the quality of life for citizens, I think we can say that investments in education, recreation, roads and other urban infrastructure are aimed at doing exactly that.“
Mayor Šimašius added: „The agreement signed between Vilnius Municipality and the European Investment Bank is a big achievement for us as a city and for our residents.
„It shows that over the last one-and-a-half years, we have delivered on our promise of financial responsibility, and regained the confidence of creditors. For our residents, this agreement means better roads, better public spaces and better schools and kindergartens.“
Among the urban renewal investments to be supported by this loan is also the renovation of several areas in Vilnius Old Town. This includes Reformatų Park, and the Rasų Cemetery, which belongs to the Lithuania’s cultural heritage department.
Further investment will go towards improving the conditions of several streets, roads and sidewalks, plus the creation and construction of a number of multipurpose centres.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union, and is owned by its Member States.
It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. In 2015, the EIB provided loans in Lithuania totalling EUR 474 million, with the energy and transport sectors being two of the main beneficiaries.
The City Council of Vilnius was democratically elected for the first time in the spring of 1990. The present Vilnius City Council, elected in April 2015 for a four-year term, has 51 members. Remigijus Šimašius has been Mayor of Vilnius since April 2015.
Annex, list of projects:
(1) The modernisation and renovation of several educational facilities throughout the city, including kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools and art and music schools; this project addresses the city’s needs to meet the demand for educational facilities for a growing number of children of school/pre-school age.
(2)The renovation and modernisation of the recreational areas on the banks of the river Neris, including the reconstruction of quays, the installation of cycling routes and recreational docks, plus improvements to security infrastructure.
(3) rehabilitation and regeneration of different areas of the historic centre of Vilnius such as Reformatai Park, including the renovation of historical buildings belonging to Lithuania’s cultural heritage (such as the Rasų Cemetery);
(4) The renovation, conversion and regeneration of various urban areas within the municipal boundaries, including the improvement and reconstruction of several streets, roads and sidewalks, plus the creation and costruction multipurpose centres.
(5) The construction of the third stage of the Western bypass around Vilnius, part of the trans-European network and key to alleviating traffic and congestion problems within the city, together with several measures to improve urban transport and traffic.
(6) Several schemes to improve and safeguard the municipal environment, including energy-efficiency measures in public buildings, the creation of cycle lanes throughout the city, the renewal of the rolling stock of municipal public transport systems, the installation of a charging station for electric vehicles and the renovation of rainwater management facilities.
All photos by Saulius Žiūros.