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West Midlands Trains announced as Lichfield Festival principal partner

West Midlands Trains has been announced as Lichfield Festival’s new Principal Partner for 2018. The company’s support is a vital boost to the Midlands’ premier multi-arts festival which brings world-class music, arts and entertainment to the city each July.

Together, Lichfield Festival and West Midlands Trains are keen to encourage festival-goers to travel to Lichfield by train – with frequent London Northwestern Railway services to/from Lichfield Trent Valley and West Midlands Railway services to/from Lichfield City. Many Festival venues are just a short walk from Lichfield City.

On the first Saturday of the Festival (7 July) visitors will also be able to hop on a West Midlands Trains-sponsored land train, for a free tour around the beautiful city.  This will pick up and drop off outside the Garrick Theatre between 10am and 3.30pm.

Events on offer on the Saturday will include the ever popular Festival market with over 130 craft and food stalls, activities and entertainment throughout the day. This includes free puppetry workshops in the Three Spires Shopping Centre from 1pm. From 6pm onwards, the Animal Puppetry Parade will make its way from Bore Street, through the city and on to Lichfield Cathedral, where local young people and Chetham’s School Symphony Orchestra will perform Britten’s children’s opera Noye’s Fludde (the story of Noah’s Ark) and Holst’s suite The Planets.

Helen Wiser, chair of Lichfield Festival said: “We’re thrilled to welcome West Midlands Trains as Lichfield Festival’s Principal Partner.  Lichfield Festival is one of the region’s leading cultural organisations and attracts around 40,000 visitors annually.  This sponsorship is a hugely welcome boost and helps us continue to deliver an exciting and diverse range of events, including the many free, family and community events.”

Francis Thomas, head of corporate affairs at West Midlands Trains said: “We’re delighted to be able to partner with Lichfield Festival this year. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get closer to the communities we serve and encourage those attending to make use of our frequent services at Lichfield’s stations. We’ll be investing £1bn into our services over the coming years, which includes new trains for the Cross City line and improved connections to and from London – both of which will benefit Lichfield significantly.”

This year’s Lichfield Festival runs from 4-14 July with highlights including Ballet Cymru’s CinderellaHansel and Gretel, the CBSO and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Liza Sings Streisand, folk singers Kris Drever and Julie Fowlis, comedians Mark Steel and Tom Allen, and restaurant critic Jay Rayner and a series of events celebrating #ExtraordinaryWomen through music, theatre, literature and film.

For more information visit: www.lichfieldfestival.org.