The UK government has approved £470 million (€547 million) in funding to support the Mersey Gateway toll bridge project in the city of Liverpool, in the north of England.
The UK Department of Transport (DoT) will contribute a direct grant of £86 million (€100 million) to the project - a bridge across the River Mersey that will link Runcorn and Widnes - and up to £14.5 million (€16.9 million) per year in revenue support for 26.5 years after the bridge has opened.
The funding approval for the six-lane bridge means that procurement will begin later this month, following a market consultation period which began in February. Construction for the project, which received planning approval in December last year, is expected to start within two years and take three years to complete.
The construction cost, including land purchase and remediation, is expected to be £589 million (€685 million).
UK Transport Secretary Philip Hammond MP said the original proposed cost of the project had been reduced by around £30 million (€35 million), adding "further cost savings are expected through a competitive procurement process".