Live updates

Investigation launched after stately home gutted in blaze

The Hall was empty when the fire took place. Credit: Cheshire Fire Service.

An investigation is underway after a huge fire at an empty stately home in Cheshire.

Firefighters were called to Daresbury Hall, on Daresbury Lane, Runcorn, on Saturday afternoon.

When they arrived crews found that a blaze had taken hold of the large empty building.

A total of eight fire engines were called to the scene to help tackle the fire.

Firefighting operations stopped at just after 10pm last night with two fire engines remaining on the scene overnight, damping down, checking for hot spots and making sure there was no re-ignition.

"It is not yet known how the blaze started but an investigation has been launched.

"If you have any information that you think may be helpful please call Cheshire Police on 101 and tell them what you know."

– Cheshire Fire Service

Super microscope unveiled in Daresbury

Credit: PA

A new super powerful microscope that can examine objects a million times smaller than a human hair is being unveiled today.

The instrument will help British scientists in fields such as advanced materials and power generation, and is expected to lead to breakthroughs benefiting health and the environment.

The £3.7 million Nion Hermes Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope, to be sited at a laboratory in Daresbury, near Warrington, allows researchers to identify atoms and observe the strength of the bonds between them.

This is expected to improve understanding of their electronic properties when in bulk and how they may perform when used.

The UK is a world leader in the development and application of Stem (Scanning Transition Electron Microscope) techniques, and this new super-powerful microscope will ensure we remain world-class.

From developing new materials for space travel to creating a better, cheaper treatment for anaemia, this new super-powerful microscope lets UK scientists examine how materials behave at a level a million times smaller than a human hair.

– Greg Clark, Minister for universities, science and cities.