Blackpool's tramway network is set to undergo an £85million development after securing funding from the Government.

Blackpool Council and Blackpool Transport had submitted a joint bid for Government funding to help upgrade the 123-year-old tram system, which has closed this winter for essential track repairs.

Transport Minister Tom Harris was in the resort this morning to announce that the Government will contribute £60.3million towards the scheme that will see the tracks improved, tram stations re-developed and 16 new trams rolled out.

Blackpool and Lancashire councils will contribute £25million to the scheme between them.

Gordon Marsden, MP for Blackpool South, said: "My colleague Joan Humble and I have lobbied long and hard for this investment in Blackpool's iconic tramway.

"This vital injection of cash from the Government will bring our Tram network up to 21st century standards and boost economic regeneration in the town.

"I pay tribute to all those at Blackpool Council and ReBlackpool who have worked so hard to help achieve this outcome and I think it underlines the Government's strong commitment to the regeneration of Blackpool, about which we hope to hear more good news soon."

Joan Humble, Blackpool North and Fleetwood MP, said: "We are very grateful to Minister Tom Harris and the Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly who have listened so positively to all the points we have made to them.

"I am delighted we've got this substantial investment from the Government to renew the vital transport link up the Fylde coast.

"The tram carries visitors and local residents and is an essential link between Blackpool's tourist attractions and the shops and seafront in Thornton and Cleveleys."