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Beacon Museum's £1.4m expansion begins

The Beacon Museum in Whitehaven Credit: ITV Border

The expansion of the Beacon Museum in Whitehaven begins today.

The £1.4 million project is expected to expand the museum's display space, and see the building of a new conference centre.

An impression of the new development. Credit: Copeland Borough Council

In 2012 the museum was threatened with closure - until nuclear company Sellafield Ltd took joint ownership of it with Copeland Borough Council.

Watch: ITV Border reports on Gaiety Cinema closure

Whitehaven's Gaiety Cinema is to re-open, after its controversial closure 12 years ago.

To celebrate, we've dug out Tim Backshall's report from the final screening, in 2003, from the Border archive.

Can you remember what the final film was?

On Lookaround at 6pm tonight, you can watch Samantha Parker's report on the cinema re-opening.


Call for drones to tackle seagulls

Credit: Press Association

Aerial drones could be used to tackle aggressive seagulls in a west Cumbrian town.

Copeland Borough Councillor Graham Roberts says the remote-control aircraft should be used to spray gulls eggs with a sterilising liquid to prevent them hatching.

Seagulls have proved a particular menace in Whitehaven over recent months with reports of birds swooping on people, snatching ice cream from children and dive-bombing shoppers in the town centre.

Drones have been used in France to tackle seagulls and Councillor Roberts believes it's time to consider this method of control in Cumbria.

"We have to do something about this. Yes, seagulls are a part of life by the sea but if a child has its eye pecked out we'll get the blame. "When you walk down the harbour with food they intimidate you and are scaring people away. This [the use of drones] has worked in France. Why not here?"

– Cllr Graham Roberts

Copeland Borough Council is set to discuss the seagull issue and possible methods for combating the birds later this month.

“We realise seagulls, whilst a defining feature of any seaside town, do cause problems. Unfortunately the law makes it difficult to cull them, as they’re a protected species. It is illegal to remove nests and eggs or to kill birds because they are disliked, considered noisy or thought to be damaging to property.

“One major thing the community can do to help is to eliminate the birds’ food sources. Don’t feed them and don’t drop food outside. Placing extra waste beside your wheelie bin can also attract them. We’d also ask anyone who can, to come and ask for a wheeled bin rather than bags. They are much more effective at keeping the gulls out and where practical we will accommodate bins.

“As responsible property owners we try to make sure gulls do not nest on our buildings – and we would urge other property owners to do this too. Removing nests before eggs are laid or after the young have flown can help. Our staff can also advise building owners how to stop birds nesting there in the future. Spikes, mesh and other low-cost measures can be effective.

“We continue to survey and monitor breeding pair numbers and hope that, with a combination of the methods above, we can as a community control the problem.”

– Julie Betteridge, Director of Customers and Community Services Copeland Borough Council

Speed reduction for A595 south of Whitehaven

A mile-long stretch of the A595 will now have a 50mph speed limit. Credit: PA

Commuters travelling between Whitehaven and Bigrigg will face a 10mph speed reduction from the end of August.

The mile-long stretch of road between Mirehouse Road junction and Bigrigg will be reduced from 60mph to 50mph, following several road safety audits by Highways England.

Motorists are warned to expect the use of temporary traffic lights while work to erect new road signs is undertaken.

The number of personal injury accidents along the road between 2005 and 2010.


Whitehaven schools' £33 million funding boost

Work on the £33m development should begin next year. Credit: ITV Border

A £33 million funding package for an education campus and community sports facilities in Whitehaven has now been agreed.

The development will be built on the current site of St Benedict's High School, and construction could start as early as next year.

The facilities will be used by St Benedict's, as well as Mayfield Special School, and the sports facilities will be accessible to the whole community.

This has been a passion of mine for a decade now. The work has been painstaking and at times gruelling but this shows what can be achieved when we all share a common vision.

These investments will be transformative for Whitehaven and for thousands of young people and their families now and in the future. It’s an enormous step forward. New schools, a new hospital, new nuclear investments. We’re building a new and exciting future and our best days are ahead of us."

– Jamie Reed MP

WATCH: West Cumbria rugby league derby

Yesterday saw the big west Cumbrian derby between Whitehaven and Workington Town.

Local rivalry means this is always a big game but with both clubs fighting the threat of relegation the stakes could hardly have been higher and the stage was set for an epic encounter. For one set of supporters the reality was rather different. Ryan Dollard reports.

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