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West Cumbrian VC winners to be remembered

Two services are being held in Cumbria today to remember two soldiers who were awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War.

Abraham Acton from Whtehaven, and James Smith from Workington, will both be honoured with paving slabs as a lasting reminder of their bravery.

The following services are being held:

12pm - Workington Railway Station, for Private James Alexander Smith.

13:30pm - Lowther Street, Whitehaven, for Private Abraham Acton.


Mortality rates down at North Cumbria hospitals

Changes at North Cumbrian hospitals are saving lives, according to North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Two years ago the Trust was recorded as having one of the highest mortality rates in England, and in 2013 it was visited by a review team who suggested a number of changes.

But since then, it says mortality rates at North Cumbrian hospitals have dropped. The most drastic reductions have been for people suffering from life threatening heart problems, who are now treated at the Heart Centre in Carlisle, as well as patients with broken hips.

"Our teams have been through a lot of change in the past 18 months but it is down to their sheer dedication and commitment to make things better for our patients that we have not only saved more lives but also given patients a better chance of making a fuller recovery and going on to live longer and healthier lives. This is something that each and every member of staff should be very proud of.

"We are under no illusions, however, that there is still a long way for us to go on our improvement journey.

"Our priority, quite understandably, was to focus first and foremost on fixing the very immediate problems related to mortality, but we still have much further to go to make the experience of care for our patients as good, if not better, than the best of the NHS."

– Dr Jeremy Rushmer, Medical Director

'I WON'T Survive': West Cumberland Hospital protest video

Adrian Davis-Johnston was born at West Cumberland Hospital. Credit: ITV Border

'I Won't Survive' is the message from a man from Great Broughton, who's concerned about some services at West Cumberland Hospital being downgraded.

Adrian Davis-Johnston's performed a parody of Gloria Gaynor's 1970s hit 'I Will Survive'.

It's already got nearly 3,000 views.

New questions over maternity services in Whitehaven

ITV Border has learnt that managers at the North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust have made internal proposals to downgrade maternity services at the West Cumberland Hospital. Until now health bosses were expected to wait until the results of an external review in November before making plans.

The local MP Jamie Reed says maternity services must continue to be led by consultants. The trust acknowledges it has had initial discussions about a range of options. Katie Hunter reports.

'Hopefully the Beacon will become self-sustainable'

A bid to develop the Beacon museum in Whitehaven has been submitted by Copeland Borough Council.

Councillors say the development, that would cost an estimated £1.2 million, would benefit the economy in West Cumbria.

The museum was re-opened this spring after Sellafield agreed to pay for its running costs for the next five years.

Elaine Woodburn, Leader of Copeland Borough Council, said:


'Fantastic scope' for the Beacon Museum

A bid to develop the Beacon museum in Whitehaven has been submitted by Copeland Borough Council.

The development would cost an estimated £1.2 million and councillors say it would be beneficial to the economy in West Cumbria.

"The Beacon is one of Copeland's most valuable assets and has great potential to bring more visitors to this part of West Cumbria.

“This is a real opportunity for Whitehaven to be able to hold more events and attract more interest. It's also important to build capacity which will in turn generate more income so that the Beacon becomes self-sustainable for the long term.

"It’s a venue with amazing views and exhibits, so there is fantastic scope to maximise commercial and national exhibitions, offer better opportunities for hire space and hold bigger, more prestigious events.”

– Elaine Woodburn, Copeland Borough Council

Bid to develop the Beacon Museum

The existing Beacon Museum Credit: ITV Border

A bid for extra funding to extend the Beacon Museum in Whitehaven has been submitted by Copeland Borough Council.

They are looking for an external grant from the Coastal Community Fund and Copeland Community Fund in order to provide extra facilities and space at the site.

If the project goes ahead, it's expected to cost about £1.2m. It's hoped the extension would be complete by Autumn 2015.

An impression of the new development Credit: Copeland Borough Council

It's a focus on two objectives. The first, to create a commercial conference space, and secondly to increase the exhibition with flexible gallery space and adjacent event and hire resources.

Former workers recall glory days of Magnox plant

It's 50 years since the start of operations at the Magnox reprocessing plant at Sellafield in Cumbria.

The plant opened in 1964 and to date, it has reprocessed 52 thousand tonnes of radioactive waste from Magnox power stations in the UK.

Thousands of people have worked there, it now employs around 400.

To mark the facility's 50th birthday, 50 former workers were invited along, including one engineer who was there on the very first day it opened.

Our cameras were allowed in for the first time in half a century. Matthew Taylor reports.

Magnox plant has been 'safely run for 50 years'

The Sellafield magnox reprocessing plant was built in 1964 Credit: Sellafield Ltd

It's 50 years since the Sellafield magnox reprocessing plant began operating.

In that time, the West Cumbrian facility has reprocessed more than 50,000 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel. It will reprocess a further 3,000 tonnes before it closes in six years time.

Staff work to produce uranium and plutonium for making nuclear power Credit: Sellafield Ltd

It produces uranium and plutonium which could be reused in making nuclear power in the future.

Opponents of nuclear energy have criticised the amount of discharges from the plant over the years but Sellafield Ltd, which runs the operation, said it has been "safely run for 50 years."

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