EFFORTS to reopen a train station which has been closed for more than half a century have been dealt a major boost.

Back in August, The Standard reported that a proposal to reinstate Beeston Castle and Tarporley railway station had made it on to a shortlist for Government funding.

The £50,000 funding would help pay for transport and economic studies as well as creating a business case.

It was one of 50 bids from across England and Wales that had been submitted for consideration by an expert panel.

The Department for Transport has now announced that the Beeston Castle and Tarporley railway station application has been successful, meaning the project can now progress to the next stage of development.

The proposal to reinstate the station is being spearheaded by railway construction professional and local resident Michael Flynn, with the support of Eddisbury MP Edward Timpson.

He has set up the 'Beeston and Tarporley Station Reopening Group' on Facebook which provides regular updates on the plans.

A delighted Mr Flynn stated: "This is just the start of a long process, but it is a major achievement for all of those who worked so long and so hard to prepare an outstanding proposal.

"There were over 50 bids submitted to the department and only 15 have been successful in progressing to the next stage, so this is a major vote of confidence in the project.

"I would particularly like to thank our local MP Edward Timpson for his unswerving support and sponsorship, without which this success would simply not have been possible.

"The award is for £50,000 towards developing a formal business case, and also comes with the pledge of Department for Transport support to ensure that the next phase—a submission to the Stations Fund for funding to construct and commission the station—is robust and capable of approval.

"The next step is for us to establish a more formal organisation and I will be posting about this and asking for volunteers to fulfil various roles in due course, but for now, it's time to celebrate this first success in the journey to getting our station reopened."

In the bid submitted to the Department for Transport the group envisages that the Transport For Wales rail services would stop at the new station, providing 23 services a day to Chester from Monday to Saturday, and 25 to Crewe (24 on a Saturday).

On Sunday there would be 28 services to Chester and 27 to Crewe.

Beeston Castle and Tarporley railway station closed back in April 1966 as a result of what became known as the 'Beeching cuts'.

A report a few years earlier by Richard Beeching, who became the first chairman of the British Railways Board, outlined plans to reshape the British railways by closing hundreds of stations and routes.