The European Investment Bank (EIB) has today provided €480M (£433M) to help finance the massive Venice flood defence scheme.
The funds are to help build the €4.6bn (£3.8bn) Mobile Barrier System (Mose) in the Venice Lagoon, which began construction in 2003 and is set to be operational in 2014.
EIB will pay the funds to Consorzio Venezia Nuova, the consortium responsible for building the scheme.
The Mose project consists of the construction at the three inlets to the Venice lagoon (Lido, Malamocco and Chioggia) of a system of breakwaters and mobile barriers to protect the city from storm surges.
It is part of a much bigger scheme to safeguard Venice and the lagoon launched by the Italian Infrastructure Ministry in 1987.
Previously, the EIB loaned the scheme £1.34bn in 2008.