The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide £175m funding towards completion of the M8 motorway link between Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland.

The investment programme will also include major improvements to the M73 and M74 motorways.

European Investment Bank UK and Ireland vice-president Jonathan Taylor said: "The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting crucial investment in essential infrastructure across Europe and we recognise the importance of the M8 scheme to upgrade Scotland’s core motorway links.

"This project will not only provide economic benefits during construction, but will also improve safety and reduce costs for business in the years ahead through improved travel times.

"The project will deliver far-reaching benefits to the wider Scottish economy."

"We are committed to providing significant long-term financial support for the scheme."

The new M8, M73 and M74 improvements projects will allow for safer and quicker journeys, while generating employment for hundreds of people during construction.

The project will also create long-term employment opportunities throughout the 30-year operation and maintenance of the new roads.

Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown said: "This marks a significant milestone in the timeline of what is a major transport infrastructure project for Scotland.

"Not only will these works vastly improve connectivity across Scotland’s central belt, the project will deliver far-reaching benefits to the wider Scottish economy."

Debt financing for the scheme is equally divided between a direct loan from EIB and a bond placement with international investors.

Image: M8 Motorway running alongside River Clyde. Photo: courtesy of Dave Souza.