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New City artworks celebrate Chinese New Year

FROM Friday, 1 February 2019, huge images of the 12 animals which make up the Chinese zodiac will appear on walls or in shop windows in the days leading up to the main celebrations, on Sunday, 10 February 2019.

Designed by local artist Cherie Grist, the locations of the:- ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig are being kept under wraps until they are all unveiled. However, Cherie has revealed the rat will be the 1st to make its appearance on the side of the Havelock Building (the former Cabin Nightclub) on Berry Street, on Friday.

The appearance of the animal artworks will coincide with thousands of Chinese lanterns adorning City Centre streets, and a number of buildings including:- St Luke's Church (the Bombed Out Church), Everyman and Playhouse Theatres and Sefton Park Palm House turning red in homage to China.

The build up continues, on Saturday, 2 February 2019, when the Liverpool Hung Gar Kung Fu Friendship Association parade through the City Centre, performing a traditional dance symbolising good luck and good fortune, banishing the winter and welcoming spring. Starting on Bold Street, at 1pm, it will travel along Church Street and onto Paradise Street, ending near John Lewis, in Liverpool ONE.

Also from Saturday, an augmented reality trail will be launched giving people the opportunity to explore Chinatown, searching for signs that will bring to life the magical journey of a little girl called:- 'Jingwei' and her pet pig's journey from the East to the West.

To find out about all the Chinese New Year celebrations which includes the projections and pyrotechnics on the Chinese Arch, from Friday, 8 February 2019, up to the main day of family friendly activities, which starts, at 11.30am, on Sunday, 10 February 2019, visit:- CultureLiverpool.Co.UK/CNY.

The augmented trail and the zodiac artwork has been commissioned by Liverpool City Council. Created by 1st Take, Pagoda Arts and Illuminos. It is written and directed by Lynne Harwood, features Zilan Liao with the Chinese Youth Orchestra, animation by Illuminos and music by Jah Wobble and Pagoda's emerging young musicians.

The event on Sunday, 10 February 2019, that is being organised by Liverpool City Council and is supported by Liverpool Chinese Business Association, the Liverpool BID Company, Liverpool ONE, Stagecoach, Heart North West and Royal Liver Building 360.

All the celebrations mark the 20th Anniversary of Liverpool's twinning with Shanghai.

Liverpool's Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Culture Tourism and Events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said:- "Chinese New Year is an important event in our calendar and it's great to build the excitement ahead of the main celebrations, on 10 February 2019.  It's a really nice touch to be able to see Cherie's work pop up around the City Centre in homage to the 12 zodiac animals and I'm sure they will become a must visit, selfie spot, in the next few weeks."

Local artist Cherie Grist said:-
"I've always loved Liverpool's Chinese New Year celebrations and I'm really pleased that I can be part of this year's event.  I've spent a lot of time travelling in China and find it very inspiring visually and culturally. I understand how important the Chinese zodiac is in their culture, so the pressure is on to do the Chinese community proud! It was my aim to give each animal its own personality and I can't want to see them all on display in the City."

Liverpool Lime Street named UK's favourite Train Station

LIVERPOOL Lime Street has been named as the UK's favourite train Station, with a customer satisfaction rating of 94% according to the latest twice yearly National Rail Passenger Survey that has recently been published. Lime Street narrowly beat iconic Stations, such as:- London's St Pancras (93.6%), King's Cross (92.9%) and Paddington (86%).  Over the last few years Lime Street has undergone a multi million pound upgrade as part of the wider Great North Rail Project; an ongoing industry team effort to radically improve rail travel for customers across the North.

New platforms have been added, and original platforms remodelled, to accommodate more frequent, longer trains in future. The Station's signalling system has been transferred to the Manchester Railway Operating Centre, with the aim of delivering greater resilience and improving services. In December 2018 toilet charges were also lifted at the Station.

The upgrade is just 1 of a raft of significant rail infrastructure projects being undertaken across the Liverpool City Region, including the building of state of the art new trains for the Merseyrail Network, the opening of a new Station, at Maghull North and the upgrade of Newton Le Willows Station.

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said:- "The friendliest City Region should rightly have the country's favourite train Station, so it's fantastic to see that the Lime Street has topped this survey. The oldest grand terminus anywhere in the world has been impressing travellers for more than 180 years; and working with partners at Network Rail we've recently ensured it will be enjoyed for many more.  The major programme of works undertaken last year to improve Lime Street and increase its capacity has clearly gone down well with rail users, and we would like to think that this satisfaction rating also reflects well on the hard work and co-ordination by Merseytravel, train operators and Network Rail that went into keeping people moving while these major works were underway. The remodelling at Lime Street Station has helped us to seriously improve the connectivity of the Liverpool City Region, but this has just been the 1st step. We will continue to work with Transport for the North to make the case for the City Region to get the rail infrastructure it deserves; including connectivity to HS2 and the vital West-East link of Northern Powerhouse Rail."

Karen Hornby, head of customer experience for Network Rail's London North Western route, said:- "We're so pleased people like Lime Street. We have worked so hard to improve it. While we are pleased about Lime Street, we do recognise we need to improve train performance in the North. We are working with train companies to give their customers the reliable service they deserve."

Paul Spiers, Liverpool Lime Street Station manager, said:-
"Our major Station upgrade, completed in 2018, as part of the Great North Rail Project, was essential to prepare our Station for more, longer trains and a boost in passenger numbers. At the same time, we've worked incredibly hard to improve facilities for passengers now, including more seating, better signage and new toilets. I'm so pleased passengers have voted our new and improved Station their favourite."

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