The leading sponsor of last year’s successful Chester Pride summer festival has stepped up to the plate again.

For the third time M&S Bank is funding the main stage of the event, which previously hosted R&B girl group Stooshe and Saffron of 90s band Republica.

Chester Pride, now in its fifth year, is a free celebration of diversity and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

This year it will take place at Castle Square on Saturday, August 19.

Sue Fox, CEO of M&S Bank, said: “It’s a fantastic event which enables us all to come together to celebrate and support the city’s LGBT community.

“M&S Bank has been based in Chester for over 30 years and our success is dependent on us valuing our employees because of, not in spite of, their differences.

Attendees at Chester Pride 2016

“Events like Chester Pride help to bring our community together to achieve this goal so we’re really excited to be a part of it.”

The 2016 event was well received despite poor weather, launching with a colourful walking parade through the city centre.

The festival featured a large health, life and wellbeing zone with more than 60 stalls from public sector organisations, charities, voluntary and social groups.

There were three stages, a children’s zone featuring interactive activities and a marketplace.

Chester Pride chair Helen Pickin-Jones said: “People may not realise that Chester Pride is organised by volunteers and is not an event guaranteed to take place each year.

“We rely on the goodwill and sponsorship of local organisations and businesses to keep it a free event.

“M&S Bank have been one of our leading supporters helping the festival to grow and meet demand. We are delighted that they are joining us for our five year celebration.”

Chester Pride has several sponsorship opportunities available for organisations and business.

Chester Pride 2016 was full of colour

Festival organisers are also looking for marketplace traders and volunteers to steward at the event.

Anyone who would like to register their interest or find out more can email

For more on Chester Pride click here.