The European Union (EU) has awarded £119m to the Welsh Government for the South Wales Metro infrastructure.

Funding will be used under the South Wales Metro Phase 2 programme that aims to double the number of trains to the heads of the valleys stations from two to four per hour as well as provide direct connectivity to Cardiff Bay.

It will also be used to modernise stations in a bid to improve passenger experience.

Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “The South Wales Metro is an important part of our ambition as a government to improve public transport and better connect our Valleys communities and people to employment opportunities.

“Today’s confirmation of £119m EU funding means we can proceed with investment in infrastructure work on the valleys lines to make faster and more efficient journeys a reality for the thousands of rail users who use these routes daily.”

“South Wales Metro is an important part of our ambition as a government to improve public transport and better connect our Valleys communities and people to employment opportunities.”

Of the total funding, £21.1m will be awarded for track doubling works on the Merthyr line, while Treherbert line will receive £27.4m for similar works.

In addition, funding will be used to construct new platforms in the two lines to support the increase in rail services.

Aberdare line will receive £23.7m for track doubling and other infrastructure upgrade works.

Another £19.5m will be allocated to the Rhymney line for construction of an additional track.

Furthermore, £27.3m will be awarded to Taff’s Well Depot scheme. It will be used to procure new land, build road and rail access for a new depot where trains will be maintained to improve service reliability.

South Wales Metro Phase 2 works are expected to be complete by 2023.

The Welsh Government is planning to apply for an additional £40m in EU funding to enhance Metro infrastructure. It expects to receive these funds by the end of this year.