MERSEYRAIL has become an official overarching cultural partner for Liverpool. The company has been a key sponsor for Liverpool’s cultural programme since 2015, but this latest deal sees Merseyrail officially support the city’s event programme and wider cultural institutions moving forward. As part of the agreement, Merseyrail are committed to making it as easy as possible for people across the North West to visit cultural attractions in the city. On Sunday 14 August, 2,000 free rail return journeys are up for grabs in order for people to travel around the city to make the most of the attractions on offer – whether it’s the latest exhibitions at Tate Liverpool, displays at museums and galleries, right though to popular Beatles attractions or even the brand new exhibition dedicated to The Jam at the Cunard Building. And of course why not venture out of Liverpool and visit the Iron Men at Crosby, the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight or Southport’s Botanical Gardens. To get your hands on a free rail journey, just register before 14 August at www.merseyrail.org/culture – tickets will be allocated on a first come first serve basis. Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member for culture, tourism and events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “We are delighted that Merseyrail is an official cultural partner and it makes a real statement that such a strong and established brand understands the value of culture to Liverpool and the wider city region. “We have an extensive and diverse events programme in the city and thanks to the creativity and commitment of our arts sector, there is something for visitors to see and do every day of the year. “Having a travel partner, reinforces how easy it is to get around our region to take in the amazing cultural assets on our doorsteps. “These transport messages are particularly important when we are staging large-scale, outdoor events when getting thousands of people to and from the city quickly and safely is paramount. We look forward to working with Merseyrail on our next big event – the new-look fireworks display in November – and together we can make sure the thousands who attend will have an unforgettable experience, for all the right reasons.” A Merseyrail spokesperson said: “We are very pleased to continue our official association with Liverpool’s cultural programme, for the first time giving away complimentary tickets for return travel anywhere on the Merseyrail network for one day. “We hope that this gesture will encourage people who don’t usually take the train to give it a go, and that their experience on Merseyrail will add to the overall success of their trips out. “With the city’s cultural offer richer and more vibrant than ever, we are keen to encourage people, whether they’re from the area or beyond, to take advantage of the wide range of events and activities available locally.” Other benefits of the deal include an onsite Merseyrail branding at events – seen recently at the Liverpool International Music Festival, the promotion of ‘get there by train’ messages before an event to promote the ease of this method of travel and more free or reduced travel offers throughout the year.