MILLIONS of pounds are to be spent on improving the quality of life for a town's residents.

Spread over two years, £16m will be spent on more than 100 projects in seven target areas, geared to making life better, safer and longer.

The money, from the Government's Neighbourhood Fund, is being channelled into fighting crime, improving the environment, employment and training opportunities, health, housing, children and learning through the Middlesbrough Partnership, made up of public, private and voluntary sectors.

Colin McLeod, partnership chairman, said: "These resources will help us get to the heart of some of the biggest problems facing the town.''

He said the money will help fight crime through improved TV security cameras and measures to tackle anti-social behaviour and burglary.

Funds will also be spent on encouraging reading in schools, helping under-achievers and encouraging the take-up of sport and exercise.

Mr McLeod said: "This money will help boost our performance still more and shows how the Middlesbrough Partnership can add to what we are all doing individually.''