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West Lancashire Freemasons' Charity give ₤25,000 to science and technology project

WEST Lancashire Freemasons have made a donation of ₤25,000 to support a project at Catalyst Science Discovery Centre in Widnes who are currently undergoing an exciting programme of regeneration. The project, partially funded by the Welcome Trust and UKRI will not only see the redevelopment of some of the physical spaces within the building, but it will also enable Catalyst to undertake more local community engagement. The generous donation from the West Lancashire Freemasons will fund a brand new interactive exhibit as the ground floor, science gallery is completely refurbished. Dr Diana Leitch MBE, Chair of Trustees at Catalyst said:- "I am delighted that the West Lancashire Freemasons have agreed to support Catalyst in such a generous way with this donation. Having new interactive exhibits will enhance Catalyst's educational offer and draw new visitors, particularly families. It was particularly pleasing that the Freemasons branch in Widnes is involved as Catalyst is set at the heart of community life in Widnes and the main building which dates back to 1855 has been so since that date when it was Gossage's soap works. My own family were part of that community and its history. Local and regional support from organisations like the Freemasons is particularly welcome in Catalyst's efforts to raise funds to undertake and maintain their educational and heritage work."

Freemasons from across the Province of West Lancashire, which includes parts of Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Cumbria, have contributed to the grant that comes through the West Lancashire Freemasons' Charity. The charity is funded entirely from donations by Freemasons. Tony Harrison, leader of West Lancashire Freemasons, said:- "This project will be of great benefit to the community, inspiring young people, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, to learn, enquire and think, creating hope and opportunity for the future. I'm very pleased that West Lancashire Freemasons are able to support the Catalyst Science Discovery Centre in their mission."

Merseyrail named most punctual rail operator in the country for 2nd year running

MERSEYRAIL has been named as the most punctual rail operator in the country for the 2nd year running; with 96.36% of its trains running on time. It also achieved its best performing year ever in 2019;  with the oldest passenger fleet in the UK.

Speaking about the results, Zoe Hands, Operations Director at Merseyrail, said:- "Delivering a world class railway for the Liverpool City Region is our main goal at Merseyrail, and we are thrilled to have achieved this in 2019.  These punctuality results cement the fact that Merseyrail is consistently one of the best performing rail operators in the country and I'm so glad we can put our region on the map when it comes to the best train services in Britain. Our passengers are at the heart of everything we do, and this is reflected in the results that we have gained despite some challenging conditions over the last twelve months. We would like to show our gratitude to Merseytravel and our service partners the British Transport Police, Stadler, Stadium and Carlisle who have worked with us to achieve this record breaking result. However, our special thanks has to go to Network Rail who have been the bedrock of our performance owing to their tireless efforts and success in improving infrastructure reliability this past year. We also have our new fleet of trains to look forward to, which I'm sure, in time, will take us to the next level of passenger experience."

Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, said:- "At a time when some rail services in other areas of the country and region are so poor, it's great to see that the Merseyrail network is performing well, reinforcing the level of service that we work hard to achieve. It's an exciting time for us, with the new fleet due to start arriving on our network later this year, further strengthening our commitment to provide a reliable service for Merseyrail passengers."

Phil James, Regional Director for Network Rail's North West route, said:- "There is a lot of hard work taking place across the North West, with our train and freight operating partners, to identify areas of improvement that can make a big difference to the reliability and resilience of the rail network. We're trying to do more to give passengers the better service they deserve. I'm happy to see this hard work pay off in the Liverpool City Region, for Merseyrail passengers. I'm also very proud of our continued work with Merseytravel and Merseyrail on an extensive programme of work to bring new trains onto the network."

The past year has seen Merseyrail scoop coveted awards across the industry, including being named Greatest Place to Work at the National Rail Awards and winning the Excellence in Sustainability and Society Award at the British Quality Foundation Awards, in May 2020.

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