Metro funding set to create new jobs

Local Transport Minister Norman Baker seen at North Shields Metro Station to announce new funding boost.

Local Transport Minister Norman Baker seen at North Shields Metro Station to announce new funding boost.

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A MULTI-MILLION pound award to Nexus is set to create and help retain a number of jobs in the borough.

Local Transport Minister Norman Baker was at the modernised North Shields Metro station on Friday, where he announced that the Tyne and Wear transport system is set to benefit from a £23m funding boost.

The Department for Transport announcement means Nexus will get a total of £93m, which is the maximum possible funding under the 2010 Funding Agreement, for renewing and upgrading the Metro over the next three years.

The funding will allow Nexus to create around 60 new jobs to deliver projects within its Metro: all change modernisation programme – as well as maintain hundreds more among engineering and transport contractors.

Mr Baker said: “This is a major programme of renewal of the metro infrastructure and will bring real benefits to the people and economy of the north east.

“The money gives Nexus the certainty to plan ahead and deliver the best outcomes for Metro users.

“The Department for Transport is determined to support the north east of England in its efforts to deliver better transport for everyone and to cut carbon emissions.”

The funding will allow Nexus to deliver key projects between 2013 and 2016, which include renewing tracks and track beds from Tynemouth to Gateshead, completing the refurbishment of the Metro train fleet, continuing the refurbishment of 45 stations in total, introducing smart travel to the Metro with the Pop card, and starting the system-wide replacement of vital overhead power lines, as well as upgrading communications and signal systems.

Ken Mackay, director of rail and infrastructure at Nexus, said: “We are delighted the government has shown its commitment to the Metro modernisation by confirming funding in full, including the conditional element.

“The £93m we will receive gives us the financial security to create 60 new jobs, delivering modernisation on the ground, in addition to the contracts we will offer to leading engineering and transport contractors.

“This commitment from government is a vote of confidence in the efficient, effective inward investment we are delivering for Tyne and Wear through the Metro: all change programme.”