The European Investment Bank (EIB) announced it has signed a finance agreement with the Ministry of Economy and Finance to create a Fund of Funds with an initial amount of €772 million for Italy under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) for operations under the remit of the Tourism and Interior Ministries.
The EIB will prioritise projects that “promote the environmental transition and digitalisation via the Fund of Funds, which is intended to revive the tourism sector and promote urban regeneration.”
The investment bank will channel these funds to firms via financial intermediaries that will be selected following calls for expression of public interest.
“The Fund of Funds will support businesses proposing sustainable investment programmes, in line with the goals and strategic priorities of tourism and urban regeneration, in order to optimise results thanks also to the associated leverage effect that this facility can generate,” said the EIB.
“It is expected that the EU bank’s support will be devoted to investments promoting the green transition and digital transformation in the relevant sectors.
“Support for projects will begin in the second quarter of 2022 and implementation of the Fund of Funds will be launched in accordance with the timeline and milestones set out in the NRRP.”
The Fund of Funds will include €500 million for tourism.
The EIB said eligible projects will be those “designed to enhance tourist-friendly structures and tourism services by upgrading and improving standards, with the dual objective of increasing the competitiveness of businesses and promoting tourism based on environmental sustainability, innovation and digitalisation of services.”
The proposed investments shall also aim to “further the digitalisation of businesses operating in the sector.”
The Fund of Funds will include will also include €272 million for urban regeneration that targets “funding required by private promoters, including via PPP structures, to support projects aimed at enhancing degraded urban areas through regeneration and economic revitalisation, with a particular focus on creating new personalised services and improving accessibility and infrastructure to turn vulnerable localities into smart, sustainable cities.”
EIB Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti said: “As the bank of the European Union, the EIB supports the Italian government in developing and implementing the NRRP to promote a sustainable and inclusive economy.
“The EIB will prioritise projects that promote the environmental transition and digitalisation via the Fund of Funds, which is intended to revive the tourism sector and promote urban regeneration.”
Director General of the Treasury Alessandro Rivera said: “Implementing investment projects under the NRRP and following the roadmap are priorities for our administration.
“Working together with the EIB on the NRRP provides Italy with precious support to ensure that implementation targets are met”.
The EIB said that between 2019 and 2020, it has provided €23 billion in financing for projects in Italy.