The scheme, which has now been granted full government approval, will include new trams, replacement track, extra stops and a new depot.

This investment, £68.3m from the Department for Transport and £33.4m from Blackpool Council and Lancashire County Council, forms part of the regeneration of the area and hopes to convince more residents to use public transport.

In his first visit since becoming transport minister this week, Mr Khan said: “This scheme will deliver significant benefits for the local community, and I am delighted that one of my first tasks as Transport Minister is to give it the go ahead.

“Trams have been running in Blackpool for more than 100 years – I hope this funding will mean the historic, world-famous Tramway can continue to run well into the future.”

The Tramway, which is owned by Blackpool Council, has been operating since 1885, and runs from the town along the Fylde Coast into Lancashire, serving Cleveleys and Fleetwood.

Work is due to start in June 2009 and be completed in April 2012.

Luke Walsh

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