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Neston countryside heritage railway station wins £5,000 grant

Work to start on platforms and wildlife and picnic area

Hadlow Road Station, Willaston

Conservationists caring for a former Victorian railway station in Neston’s countryside have bagged a welcome £5,000 grant.

The Friends of Hadlow Road Station in Willaston brought in the funding from Tesco’s carrier bag charge fund.

The supermarket giant teamed up with Groundwork, which brings people and the environment together with practical local action, to launch its Bags of Help funding initiative.

The move sees grants raised from the 5p bag levy being awarded to thousands of local community projects every year.

The Friends of Hadlow Road Station(Image: UGC TCH)

Shoppers voted in local Tesco stores to help the Friends secure the top £5,000 award.

Work will now begin on bringing the project to life involving commencing the restoration of parts of both platforms including a wildlife and picnic area.

Friends chairman Chris Hampshire said: “We are delighted to have secured the top grant award of £5,000 and thank you to all the shoppers who voted for this Hadlow Road Station improvement.

“This grant allows the Friends to commence the platform reinstatement on a phased basis whilst we secure further grant monies to complete this initiative.”

Lindsey Crompton, Tesco’s head of community, said: “Bags of Help has been a fantastic success. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response from our customers. The great thing about Bags of Help is that local people are invited to decide how the money will be spent in their community and we can’t wait to see the projects come to life.”

Voting ran in stores throughout May and June with customers choosing which local project they would like to get the top award using a token given to them at the check-out.

Bags of Help guidelines have recently been extended to include any project which benefits the community rather than outdoor projects only.

The Hadlow Road station in Willaston

Groundwork’s national chief executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “We want to ensure that the money raised benefits as many local people in as many different places as possible so we’ve extended the range of groups and projects that we can support.”

The grade ll listed station celebrated its 150th anniversary last year.

The group was formed in 2014 to befriend the 1950s-themed station which was a stop on the single-track Hooton to West Kirby branch of the Birkenhead Railway. This opened a branch line from Hooton to Parkgate in 1866 which included the station.

It closed for passengers in 1956. The route to West Kirby later became part of the Wirral Country Park in the early 1970s.

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