Transport secretary Chris Grayling has granted Transport for Greater Manchester legal powers to build the new 3.4 mile line allowing work to start this winter.
TfGM, which owns the Metrolink network, has developed plans for the Trafford Park line and will shortly appoint a contractor.
When operational in 2020/2021, the line will provide a major public transport boost for the area, offering fast, frequent transport links for thousands of workers.
The new Trafford Park line will branch off from the existing Pomona stop and call at six new tram stops, including Wharfside, near to Old Trafford football stadium, the Imperial War Museum, key business areas through the industrial park and visitor destinations such as Eventcity and the intu Trafford Centre.
The £350m funding package to build the line has already been secured by Greater Manchester Combined Authority through the ‘earn back’ funding arrangement as part of the Greater Manchester devolution deal.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Tony Lloyd, welcomed the news, saying: “Today’s announcement is another big step forward for Greater Manchester. I’m delighted that our long held ambition to build a new Metrolink line through Trafford Park is now about to become a reality.”
“This new line will boost our economy and bring us closer to our goal of a world class transport system for Greater Manchester. I look forward to seeing the first shovel in the ground this winter.”