University of Ulster gets £150m loan for campus projects

European Investment Bank to support developments including new Belfast city centre site

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is to lend the University of Ulster £150 million (€182.4 million) to support major campus development projects across its campuses in Northern Ireland.

One of the key projects to benefit will be the university’s new £250 million landmark Belfast city campus development.

Construction of the city campus, which is expected to house 15,000 students and staff when completed, is scheduled to begin next year.
The university has said the development is likely to generate more than 5,000 construction and related jobs during the build and fit-out period.

As well as the city campus project, the University of Ulster intends to invest an additional £55 million to upgrade its sites in Magee, Coleraine and Jordanstown.


Details of the financial support from the EIB were announced yesterday in Belfast by its vice-president Jonathan Taylor.

He said the EIB believes investment in education is essential to “ensure Europe’s competitiveness in the global arena”.

"The clear vision of the University of Ulster's scheme will help deliver both educational and economic benefits across Northern Ireland both during construction and in the years to come," he said. "We are committed to supporting similar quality investment in key infrastructure in Northern Ireland in the future."
Richard Barnett, vice-chancellor of the university, has hailed the EIB loan as a "vote of confidence" in its ambitious plans.

“As a university that is leading in widening access to higher education, it is important that our students enjoy facilities that match their aspirations,” Prof Barnett said.

“These investments in our campuses will build on our existing strengths, providing a world-class learning environment for our students and an excellent working environment for our staff.”

He believes the university’s investment programme will create a “lasting legacy for future generations”.

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business