MERSEYRAIL has come aboard as the main sponsor of the Cheshire Best Kept Stations award evening.

The awards for 2018 will be presented at the Grange Theatre, in Hartford, on Tuesday, February 5, celebrating and recognising the hard work of station adoption and community groups across Cheshire.

The ceremony shines a light on improvements to stations, from gardening to arts projects and other community activities.

Last year's event, the 15th to be held, attracted 160 guests including the mayors of every borough council in the former county of Cheshire and many rail industry representatives, while a charity raffle raised funds for The Samaritans and Railway Children.

At the 2017 awards, the overall winner was Frodsham railway station with gongs also going to Delamere, Northwich and Winsford and Chelford, Goostrey and Wilmslow.

Cheshire Best Kept Stations chairman Mark Barker said: “We are delighted that Merseyrail has chosen to support us as main sponsor.

“They have an outstanding track record of community engagement and understand the good work that station adoption and other community groups can do at local stations.

“Thanks to the sponsorship of Merseyrail and other companies, we will give those groups an enjoyable and inspiring evening that is free of charge to them.”

Andy Heath, Merseyrail's managing director, said: “This is a wonderful event which says thank you to all those people who work tirelessly to ensure their local, train stations remain at the heart of their communities.

“Whether that is through creating beautiful gardens, painting stunning murals, opening a book exchange or many, many more creative ideas. We are always amazed and humbled by the myriad of ways that people find to transform their stations.”