The European Commission (“EC”) and the European Investment Bank (“EIB”) have developed an initiative for supporting urban development. JESSICA financial engineering instrument aims to finance projects supporting urban development with low-interest loans by attracting bank co-financing.
At the end of 2011, the Fund won a competition held by the European Investment Bank and took over the management of a resource under the JESSICA initiative in the amount of BGN 36.9 million, part of the Operational Program “Regional Development” 2007-2013. and within the program is aimed at projects meeting the eligibility criteria under Operational Axis 1 “Sustainable and integrated urban development”
Financing is provided to private investors, municipalities and public-private partnerships for sustainable urban development projects in the cities of Burgas, Varna, Pleven, Plovdiv, Ruse and Stara Zagora.
During the first investment cycle until 30.09.2016, the Fund supported 20 eligible urban projects, for which it attracted co-financing in the amount of BGN 69.2 million, provided primarily by Expressbank AD (with universal successor DSK Bank AD).
In 2017 the process of reinvesting the funds under JESSICA, which are repaid by already completed and functioning projects, has started. For the period until December 31, 2025 the Fund will continue to finance new projects with attractive price conditions with the participation of up to 50% of the required loan resource, with the remaining 50% provided under market conditions by DSK Bank AD.
Fund-financed JESSICA projects have created numerous jobs, new opportunities for entertainment, culture and sport, restored neglected buildings and technical infrastructure and generally improved living conditions in cities.