Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has said the European Investment Bank had agreed to relax the collateral rules allowing the Government and the private sector to access fresh funding.

The funding is expected to be announced as part of a package of growth measures to be agreed at next week's summit of EU leaders.

Projects which could be earmarked for funding could include the Dublin-Wexford road, the Tuam-Gort road, new schools and community health centres, Mr Noonan said.

EU leaders are expected to increase the capital of the EIB by €10 billion.

The increase could in turn leverage the EIB's lending capacity to up to €60bn which would be spent on infrastructure projects.

Ireland's access to EIB funding is limited, since as a triple A-rated bank it requires certain collateral rules.

But Mr Noonan said the EIB president had agreed to look at ways of relaxing those rules to access more funding.

"At present the EIB are undercommitted to Ireland, so there's scope for improvement." the Minister said.