THE HISTORIC trams in Blackpool will be refurbished as part of an £85.3 million scheme to attract more visitors to the area.
Plans to move forward with the refurbishment of the historic Blackpool and Fleetwood tram system were announced by transport minister Tom Harris, with the Government contributing £60.3m to the scheme.
Improvements will include refurbishment of the track and tram stops out to Fleetwood, as well as 16 new fully accessible trams to serve Blackpool's seafront promenade.
Rail minister Tom Harris said: "At over 120 years old, the Blackpool and Fleetwood tramway is part of the local heritage as well as an important part of the local transport system.
"I want to make sure that tourists and local people alike can continue to enjoy the tram in years to come and make sure it lies at the heart of the town's current regeneration plans."
The Blackpool and Fleetwood Tramway carries nearly four million passenger trips a year, around 75 per cent of which are visitors to Blackpool.
Coun Peter Callow, leader of Blackpool Council said: "It is also a real vote of confidence in Blackpool's future as a successful resort.
"I am sure that it will encourage much needed private investment in the town."
The full refurbishment is expected to start in late 2009.