The Village and Town Renewal Scheme will be distributed through local authorities over the next six years.

“€30 million is being put in place over the next six years for small towns and villages,” said An Taoiseach. “It is designed so that communities can come together with their ideas and draw down from systems and support from the various elements of the State, be it local authorities, the LEADER groups or IRD groups.”

€30m is a small sum and the Taoiseach said that “it is only recognition of potential in rural areas”.

The announcement stems from recommendations made by the CEDRA report which was launched 18 months ago in Castlebar and chaired by Pat Spillane.

Some €200,000 has already been allocated for three specific projects in Mayo including the development of a former Military Barracks in Castlebar.

Enda Kenny said that he hopes this will enhance rural areas and said that uses for funding “can range from green ways to development of opportunities for job creation and for further enterprise development.”

It provides the opportunity to work with the communities to better themselves. Further details are expected to be announced next Tuesday.

Interestingly, Enda Kenny refused to give details of how the upcoming budget is likely to affect farmers .

“Movement of land, opportunities for young farmers and the changing nature of farming have been addressed in part in quite a number of tax changes dealing with farmers and farm land,” he said of previous changes. There was no comment on any beneficial tax breaks for farmers in next year’s budget.