The UK’s Tyne and Wear Metro will receive £580m ($803m) from the government for upgrades and improvements to the light rail system, TRANSPORT Minister Sadiq Khan has announced.

The funding includes £350m ($484.6m) for infrastructure renewal up to 2021, and £230m ($318.5m) in operating subsidy up to 2019.

The upgrades include the addition of new lifts and escalators at stations, renovating train carriages, renewal of ageing tracks and power lines, as well as improving public information systems.

Work in the first three years will focus on the sections from South Gosforth to Newcastle city centre and from Chillingham Road to Tynemouth, in addition to renovating the key interchange at Central station in Newcastle.

“This historic decision provides the biggest-ever investment in the future of the Tyne and Wear Metro since it opened 30 years ago,” Khan said.