The extension of the Midland Metro will link Birmingham city centre with Edgbaston and the growing Westside area.
Five new stations will be served by up to 10 trams an hour when the 2km extension from Grand Central, outside Birmingham New Street station, to Edgbaston opens in March 2021.
The £59.8m funding from the Department for Transport completes the total £149m required for the project, with £84m having already been raised locally through the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), City Council, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and others.
On a visit to Birmingham yesterday, transport minister Paul Maynard said: “Midland Metro is already a success story, with passenger journeys up nearly a third this year compared to last year. This new extension will be a further boost to Birmingham businesses, and make travelling to work easier for commuters. But just as importantly, it will help ease the pressure on the roads as it will provide an alternative for getting in and out of the city centre. This is a vital project and one which we are delighted to be able to support.”
Preliminary groundworks started in the summer but now final funding for the scheme has been secured from central government, major project works could be set to get underway within weeks.
To limit the impact on Birmingham’s historic city centre, parts of the route will be built without overhead lines, with batteries taking over to power the trams.
The Edgbaston line is one of several extensions planned for the Midland Metro, including a £200m link between Wednesbury and Brierley Hill, for which funding is being sought.