EIB invests in Manchester metro

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to invest £500m in an extension to Greater Manchester’s light rail system.

The funding will be provided over 30 years and cover over a third of the scheme’s overall investment costs.

Greater Manchester’s Metrolink Phase Three will triple the size of the current network, delivering new lines new lines to Oldham and Rochdale town centres, Ashton-under-Lyne in Tameside, East Didsbury, and Manchester Airport via Wythenshawe.

Overall, the expansion is expected to be completed in 2016.

“The Metrolink expansion is the single largest investment in public transport in the UK, outside of London,” said councillor Andrew Fender, chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee.

“It will deliver a legacy for Greater Manchester that will regenerate and transform key district centres and provide new connections to the labour market for businesses.”

The investment comes soon after the UK government published a report into tram projects, signalling support for the schemes as ways to help improve economic development in a region.