The M-Pact Thales consortium, which is made up of Thales, Laing O'Rourke and GrantRail, has been selected as preferred bidder for the design, construct and maintenance contract for the major expansion of the Manchester Metrolink tram network.
The extension of the current system will almost double the size of the existing network, with new Metrolink lines running to Oldham and Rochdale, Droylsden in Tameside, and Chorlton in Manchester.
There will also be a quarter of a mile extension to Mediacity:uk in Salford Quays, if the Transport and Works Act order is approved by the Government.
GMPTE is expected to approach the department for full approval for the project by the end of next month. Approval will be granted provided that the costs and risks remain as approved in 2006.
Once the final sign-off has been approved, a contract will be placed with the M-Pact Thales consortium.