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UKEF supports essential infrastructure in Sri Lanka

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has confirmed £49M in funding from UK Export Finance which will support crucial infrastructure in Sri Lanka.

Darlington-based firm Cleveland Bridge will construct 250 bridges for rural Sri Lankan communities, in a project designed to accelerate Sri Lanka’s development through improvements in its rural transport infrastructure.

The project will directly benefit families and businesses by reducing the distance people need to travel to reach essential services such as healthcare and education, it will also bring rural communities closer together by cutting transport costs.

The financing of these 250 bridges follows the provision of support in 2011 for 210 bridges and in 2014 for 618 bridges. The Sri Lankan government estimates that collectively the bridges will benefit more than 100,000 families as well as businesses in the country.

Cleveland Bridge is the company behind a number of iconic landmarks including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Tyne Bridge. The company designs its modular bridges in the UK and they are easily assembled to meet the specific needs of each project.

International Trade Secretary, Rt Hon. Dr Liam Fox MP, said: “Cleveland Bridge demonstrates the value British design and engineering can bring to the world stage. Over the course of the last 100 years UK Export Finance has led the way in delivering innovative finance to help British companies achieve international success across a wide range of industries and countries.

“I am delighted that as UKEF marks its centenary year, it continues not only to support the UK’s exporters but also those transformational projects that will have a direct impact on the lives of citizens across the globe.”

Don Underwood, Commercial Consultant, Cleveland Bridge said: “We are delighted UKEF has chosen to support this project, and Cleveland Bridge’s continued growth. UKEF’s flexible support is hugely important for our international success, helping us build confidence with our overseas customers and access financing to deliver dynamic projects.”

This announcement follows recent support from UKEF for projects to improve Iraq’s power provision and Bahrain’s water supply.

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