Education facilities around Lahti are set for a major upgrade, in part thanks to financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB). In line with the new vision of learning included in the Finnish national curriculum reform of 2016, the City of Lahti in southern Finland is overhauling its education infrastructure. A €100 million loan from the EIB will help finance new construction and major renovations of related buildings in different parts of the city. The project is composed of several sub-projects, ranging from new construction and renovation of day care centres and comprehensive schools to remodelling and upgrading the facilities.
EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros stated: “Finland has implemented one of the most ambitious school redesign projects in Europe, showing a commitment to continue improving the already high-ranking Finnish educational system. With this financing, we will help renew and improve the facilities that will accommodate teaching for the future generation of Finland, something we are pleased to be supporting.”
Mayor of Lahti Pekka Timonen said: “The future success of Lahti is based on the education and skills of our people. We have already invested in education and with this EIB financing we can move ahead with our ambitious plans to provide the best possible world-class environment for our educational system.”
This modernisation is also necessary because of indoor air quality problems in the current facilities, which negatively influence pupils’ performance and the well-being of teachers and staff. In addition to providing healthy, safe and modern learning environments, the facilities will be designed to meet high energy efficiency standards, thus meeting the targets set by Lahti as the European Green Capital 2021. Moreover, by providing new modern facilities, the project aims to improve the resilience of education infrastructure to better adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. In 2019, the Bank provided over €1.63 billion in loans for Finnish projects. The EIB borrows money on the capital markets and lends it on to projects that support EU objectives. About 90% of all loans are granted within the European Union.