David Santos elected chairman of the JESSICA Portugal Investment Committee

The chairman of the Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR) of Algarve David Santos was elected to lead the Committee […]

WS 09B12 - Maritime and river borders: sharing regional experiencesThe chairman of the Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR) of the Algarve David Santos was elected to lead the Investment Committee of the JESSICA Holding Fund Portugal and be the coordinator of the Management Authorities of the Operational Programs involved.

The initiative JESSICA (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas), launched by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank, encourages urban regeneration and sustainable urban development projects, by supporting Member States in the use of financial engineering instruments to finance investments of this nature.

In Portugal, the initiative is financed by the Operational Programs of the North, Centre, Lisbon and Vale do Tejo, Alentejo, Algarve and the General Directorate of Treasury and Finance.

«So far, the initiative has allowed to leverage, in the country's total, an investment worth 340 million euros in urban rehabilitation, which will result in the direct creation of more than 1600 new jobs, distributed by 76 projects in more than 30 municipalities from North to South of the country. The intervention areas that have used the Fund the most are Tourism, Real Estate, Commerce and Energy, which will receive a contribution of 141,5 million from JESSICA», revealed the CCDR of Algarve , in a press release.

On September 30, 2014, five financing contracts located in Albufeira, Alvor, Portimão and VRSA had already been signed in the Algarve Region, with a total investment of 18,1 million euros and a financing of 8,5 million euros in the areas of Commerce, Tourism and Mobility. "The amounts contracted amount, at this stage, to about 57 percent of the total", he announced.

“The Initiative's areas of intervention are: urban rehabilitation and regeneration (including urban equipment and infrastructure, energy efficiency and renewable energies in urban areas); the revitalization of the economy in urban areas (aimed at SMEs and innovative companies); the spread of information and communication technologies in urban areas, including broadband and wireless networks”, adds the CCDR.

JESSICA is part of a new generation of European Funds, dubbed "repayable", as they work like a loan (with very favorable terms). In practice, the beneficiaries will have to return the money they requested under the program, money that will later be used in new urban rehabilitation projects, which are dynamized by Urban Development Funds (UDF), public-private partnerships that have to be created to access JESSICA.