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Live Reporting

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  1. As it happened: BBC Cumbria Live

    We've been carrying on coverage for slightly longer than usual, following the news that the new company running South Lakes Safari Zoo has been granted a licence.

    There will be more on this tomorrow as well as other news, travel reports and weather forecasts.

    We'll be back from 08:00, so if you have a photograph you'd like to share, or you have news you think we should know, you can email ustweet us,or get in touch through our Facebook page.    

    Have a very good evening. 

  2. Inspectors 'highly encouraged' by zoo improvements

    During the meeting, animal welfare campaigners said that over a quarter of a million people had signed petitions calling for the closure of South Lakes Safari Zoo.

    However licensing committee members were also told that an inspection team - which had previously found several "deficiencies" in the way it was run - was "highly encouraged by improvements since the takeover in January.

    Baby giraffe at zoo
  3. Troubled zoo wins licence after takeover

    Troubled South Lakes Safari Zoo had been threatened with closure following the death of hundreds of animals, and one of its keepers.

    Founder David Gill was refused a licence, but had lodged an appeal, which allowed it to remain open.

    He had also handed management of the site over to the Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd, and a meeting of Barrow Council's licensing regulatory committee has now agreed to grant this company a licence to run it.

    The Captive Animal Protection society had asked for it to be refused because of a history of animal suffering and neglect at the attraction, but Government inspectors said they'd been impressed by the culture of change.

    Giraffe at zoo
  4. BreakingSouth Lakes Zoo granted new licence

    Barrow council approves licence for Cumbria Zoo to run the S Lakes Safari Zoo subject to owner surrendering his old licence.   

  5. Whitehaven crowds go to see Russian's superyacht

    Staff at Whitehaven Marina estimate that 2,500 people went to see the Russian billionaire's superyacht, Lady M, which left its berth at the Sugar Tongue on this morning's tide, on passage to the Isle of Man.

    Lady M at night, with ostentatious lighting effects

    The Lady M's reputed to be worth more than £40m, and at 212ft long was too large to come through the locks at the harbour entrance except at high tide.

    She belongs to Alexei Mordashov, who made his fortune in mining and steel.  He and his family are said to have spent yesterday touring the Lake District.

  6. Firefighters damping down at Salthouse mills blaze

    Firefighters are now damping down the fire which surged through old industrial buildings in Barrow this afternoon.

    Salthouse mills long shot

    The blaze at Salthouse Mills broke out soon after 12:00, and people living nearby were urged to stay inside and keep doors and windows closed.

    Station officer Roger Exley said there was still a significant hazard from the various gases kept in cylinders at garages and workshops and fire crew would be there into the evening.

    The cause of the fire is not known.

  7. Cumbria's weather: A sunny evening and a clear night

    BBC Weather

    It'll stay fine and dry with plenty of sunshine this evening and staying dry and clear tonight. Temperatures dipping to a low of 4 C (39 F) overnight.

    Weather graphic

    You can find the latest weather forecast for where you are, here.

  8. Travel: Signals problem halts trains into Scotland

    BBC News Travel

    Virgin Trains West Coast services are said to be at a standstill between Glasgow central and Carlisle, because of a signalling problem.

    Cross Country are accepting tickets between Edinburgh and Birmingham for the rest of the day.

  9. Zoo's new chief exec talks of 'liberation' after founder steps back

    Neil Smith

    South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

    The head of the new operator of the zoo at Dalton in Furness has told a meeting of Barrow council's icensing regulatory committee that it is "liberating to control their own destiny" without interference from the attraction's founder, David Gill. 

    Karen Brewer, who used to work for Mr Gill and is now chief executive at Cumbria Zoo Company limited, said her team had a proven ability to make changes.


    Government inspectors say they've been impressed by the change of culture at South Lakes Safari Zoo, and are recommended the new company be given a licence, which would enable it to stay open.

    But the Captive Animal Protection society told members the licence should be refused because of the history of suffering and neglect, which led to its founder being refused a renewal.

    A decision is expected later.

  10. 'Sun pillar' adds glory to Cumbrian sunset

    Piers Palmer was not the only photographer to notice that the sunset had an extra feature last night - a sun pillar created by the light bouncing off ice crystals in the upper atmosphere.

    Sun Pillar

    He was kind enough to send us this picture of the sky above Bassenthwaite.  

    If you have a photograph you'd like to share, or you have news you think we should know, you can email ustweet us, or get in touch through our Facebook page.   

  11. Fire crews from across Furness battle Salthouse blaze

    Fire engines from as far as Grange to the east and Broughton to the west have been called into Barrow to fight the fire at Salthouse Mills.


    The blaze was reported in a range of buildings described as garages, and local social media reports talk of at least one explosion.

    Four pumps called ground monitors, which lay down very large amounts of water, have now subdued the billowing smoke that towered over parts of Barrow when the fire first broke out just before noon.

    People living in the area have been urged to stay inside and keep doors and windows closed. It's not thought anyone's been hurt, or buildings evacuated.

  12. Ambleside B&B named as 'best in England'

    The Nanny Brow, which overlooks the road between Ambleside and Langdale, has been given a top award by the AA.

    Nanny Brow

    Susan and Peter Robinson took over the country house, built in 1904 and one of the best Arts and Crafts properties in the area, in 2009, and faced a major restoration job as it had been empty for some years.

    This week it was named guest accommodation of the year for England, in a series of awards nominated by by AA inspectors who between them see 2,000 B&Bs a year throughout Britain.

  13. Travel: Barrow street closed as fire crews fight blaze.

    BBC News Travel

    St Lukes Avenue in Barrow is closed in both directions between Salthouse Road and Roose Road, because of the fire at Salthouse Mills.

  14. Labour councillor crosses to Conservatives over Trident policy

    A Labour district councillor from Barrow has switched loyalties to the Conservatives, saying Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party "only seems to want to close Barrow down".

    Simon fell and Gordon Murray

    Gordon Murray, shown here on the right with Simon Fell, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Barrow, said only the Conservative party backed the programme of building the submarines to carry Trident missiles.

    Labour councillor Brendan Sweeney said this was nonsense, and the party "fully backed Trident" at both local and national level.

    Mr Sweeney also said that Councillor Murray had at various times supported the Liberal Democrats, as well as Conservatives and Labour.

  15. New zoo company to present its case for licence to councillors

    The company trying to get a licence to run the zoo near Dalton in Furness will give evidence this afternoon to a meeting of councillors who'll decide its fate

    The Safari Zoo has been leased and run by Cumbria Zoo Limited since January, but it's still licensed to owner David Gill, pending his appeal against refusal. 

    Mr Gill is said to take no part now in running the zoo.


    The changes brought in by Cumbria zoo have impressed government inspectors, but it must also convince councillors of its financial viability, and questions on this will be heard in closed session.

    The meeting will also hear from two animal welfare charities, the Born Free Foundation, and the Captive Animal Prorection Society, which both believe the zoo should be closed down.

  16. Five fire engines at Barrow blaze

    Five appliances were called to a blaze at Salthouse Mills in Barrow, in what the fire and rescue service describes as a garage.

    Salthouse fire

    The blaze sent a large pillar of smoke over the eastern side of the town, but people in the area say it has now subsided.

    Some reports suggest there was at least one explosion, and people have been asked to stay away. 

    The mills is a former industrial area, much of which is now derelict.

  17. Volunteers line up to lift the roof on Honister bothy restoration

    BBC Radio Cumbria

    We've more on the project to restore Dubs Hut at Honister, which is used as a bothy, or mounttain shelter, by climbers and walkers.

    Since BBC Radio Cumbria covered the story on Facebook and on air, and we reported it here, a number of outdoor enthusiasts have come forward.

    If you want to join them, all the details are here.

  18. Ossy's name could go on Copeland council chamber

    A former Mayor of Copeland could be honoured by naming the council chamber after him.

    Ossy Coyles had a 30-year career on the council, was twice mayor, an honorary alderman, and also served on his local parish council.

    He died late last year at the age of 97.

    Ossy Coyles

    Copeland councillors are expected to agree the idea at their annual general meeting this afternoon.