With Ambla, a lifetime living on Ameland is within reach

11 July 2024 - 

Always being able to live on Ameland, even if you need care 24 hours a day: this will continue to be possible on the island in the coming decades, as the municipality has invested in a new residential care complex named Ambla. The investment was made possible in part by advantageous funding from BNG. BNG is helping the municipality to make a social and sustainable impact.

‘There is already a care home on Ameland,’ says Piet IJnsen, alderman on the island. ‘However, this has been in use since 1964 and is now in need of replacement. Moreover, the building no longer meets our current sustainability and fire safety requirements.’ In short: the municipality needed a new building. Developing one was anything but straightforward, however. ‘Ameland has few inhabitants and an isolated location,’ says Piet. ‘As a result, new buildings are often more expensive here than on the mainland.’  

Impact as reason for being 

Peter Neeskens, Relationship Manager for Government & Education at BNG Bank, helped the municipality to find the right funding for this project. ‘Of course, as a person in need of help, you don’t want to have to be forced ashore to get the care you need. The fact that the municipality will soon be able to prevent this with Ambla is partly due to the favourable funding conditions that we’re able to offer. BNG Bank is THE bank of the public sector. Helping social services like municipalities make an impact is part of our reason for being and one of our objectives.’

The project gained momentum at the end of 2022, when the municipal council approved the required investment of 24 million euros. Piet: ‘The bulk of the amount comes from BNG Bank. Before we concluded the deal, we meticulously went through all the conditions. At that stage, you discuss questions such as: Are we going for project or basic funding? What interest rates do we apply? What are the risks, opportunities and impossibilities? There are many boxes to be ticked.’ 

Keeping knowledge up to date 

The smooth cooperation is largely due to the fact that the municipality of Ameland has been a BNG Bank client for many years. ‘They finance many of our projects,’ explains Piet. ‘The most recent one was the construction of 40 rented homes on our island.’ According to Peter, the fact that clients remain loyal to BNG Bank for a long time is due to more than just the good conditions: ‘If a client has a question, we can almost always be reached directly and personally. Whatever the question, we want to be able to provide an answer. That’s why we put a lot of energy into keeping our knowledge up to date.’ 

Soon, when construction is completed, 44 homes will be available. There will also be four primary care studios, designed for people who are temporarily unable to live at home. ‘If you need help, you rent one of those and draw up a care plan together with the care institution,’ says Piet. ‘That way, you’ll get exactly the care you need. In terms of energy management, the building will also be future-proof. It’s energy-neutral, thanks to solar panels, heat pumps and the use of grey water: collected rainwater with which you can flush toilets.’ 

The first residents will move into the new residential care complex in November. Piet: ‘We’ve invested a lot of time in this project, so the opening is definitely a reason to celebrate.’ For Peter, the project has also been a success. ‘BNG Bank is happy to help municipalities make as much social impact as possible. The fact that they choose us as a partner to make this possible makes us a happy bank.’

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