I propose to take Questions Nos. 14 and 16 together.
I thank the Deputy for her question. The town and village renewal scheme is a key component in revitalising towns and villages and sustaining our rural communities. It was introduced in 2016 and allocated €10 million to 170 projects in its first year of operation. In 2017, as part of the Action Plan for Rural Development, I launched an enhanced town and village renewal scheme with a focus on projects that could bring a positive economic impact to our rural towns and villages. Under last year's scheme, I approved €21.6 million in funding to 281 projects. I launched a further round of the scheme in April of this year, with an allocation of €15 million. The closing date for the submission of applications to my Department is 30 June and I anticipate that up to 200 further projects will be approved arising from this call for proposals. These projects will be completed over a 12 to 18 month period.
In addition, my Department provided €7 million in CLÁR funding to 231 projects in 2017. More than 400 applications have been received under this year's CLÁR programme and I will be announcing details of successful projects shortly. I also allocated €1.4 million to Tidy Towns committees throughout the country last year to mark the 60th anniversary of the competition in 2018. I made €812,000 available towards the running costs of agricultural shows around the country. These shows attract many extra visitors to rural towns and villages.
The new €1 billion rural regeneration and development fund, which was announced by the Government recently as part of Project Ireland 2040, will provide an opportunity to deliver ambitious and integrated projects that further support the revitalisation of our rural towns and villages. I will be announcing full details of the fund later this month.
On the basis of the progress made to date, the target in the Action Plan for Rural Development to support the revitalisation of more than 600 rural towns and villages over the period 2017 to 2020 will be exceeded. My objective is to ensure that the investment made in these towns and villages has a sustainable impact that will make them more attractive places in which to live and work and to visit.