EC loan to help fund Tube line extension: Pounds 98m credit throws lifeline to Canary Wharf project

THE European Community threw a lifeline to the troubled Canary Wharf development in the London Docklands yesterday by agreeing to a loan of pounds 98m to finance the extension of the Jubilee Tube line.

The 15-year loan was made by the European Investment Bank, the EC's financing arm, using a lending facility agreed at last year's Edinburgh summit. It will form a key part of the pounds 400m contribution by the private sector to London Transport for the extension of the Underground line from Green Park in central London to Stratford in east London.

This is one of the most important transport projects in Britain, not least because of its political significance. The collapse of the project had cast doubts over the urban renewal strategy of the Government.

It does not signal the final go-ahead for the project - the approval of the banks and the administrators of Olympia and York Development, which masterminded the Canary Wharf project, must first be sought. But last night London Transport said it was 'delighted' and that the money was 'a big step forward'.

The question of transport to Canary Wharf became critical to its success or failure, but Olympia and York, owned by the Canadian Reichmann brothers, was unable to find the cash.

The project is now being financed by an international syndicate led by Lloyds Bank in association with the EIB. The president of the EC's house bank is Sir Brian Unwin, the former head of Customs and Excise, who arrived at the Luxembourg-based institution only days ago. Last night, he said: 'The Jubilee line extension is an important transport project for the development of London and will add substantially to the activity and employment of the construction industry in the UK and the Community.'

The extra EIB lending agreed at Edinburgh was tilted towards creating new infrastructure in the EC, while helping to lift the European economy out of the doldrums. Britain may also receive funding for the Channel Tunnel rail link from the same source. The loan will enable the Government to point to a concrete example of how the EC is helping the British economy and to the success of the Growth Initiative agreed under the British EC Presidency.

The Government has persistently tried to inject a European element into the project, at one stage lobbying hard to move the controversial European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to Canary Wharf. However, Jacques Attali, the head of the bank, preferred a central location.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before