Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.


  1. Updates on Friday 20 May 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage for the day

Lee Macaulay

Journalist, BBC Cumbria Live

Our live updates for Cumbria have finished here for today. 

We'll be back with more news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00 on Monday. 

Have a great weekend and hopefully, you'll join us back here then.

If you've got news or a picture you'd like to share with us, you can contact us on Twitter @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or on our Facebook page

Weather: breezy with showers

BBC Weather

There'll be further sunny spells for the rest of the afternoon with the odd shower, and it's set to turn cloudy later on as outbreaks of rain spread north-eastwards.

Here's tonight's forecast for Wasdale Head.

You can find the forecast for your local area at the BBC Weather website.

Evening weather for Wasdale Head

Cumbrian newspaper wins national award

The Cumberland News has been named Best Weekly Newspaper with a Circulation under 20,000 at the Regional Press Awards.

View more on twitter

The judges said it was a "a great old-school weekly with an assured sense of identity standing proudly for the interests of the regional community. "

Fellow CN Group newspaper the News and Star was highly commended in its category for Best Daily Newspaper (under 20,000) and Newsquest's The Westmorland Gazette was highly commended in the Best Weekly Newspaper (over 20,000).

Public supports South Cumbrian college merger, say principals

Public reaction to plans that would see Barrow Sixth Form College merge with the Furness College has been broadly supportive, according to the institutions. 

Barrow Sixth Form College has debts totaling £500,000 and the move would allow them to be written off.

Officials says the move would benefit students because the merged institution would be able to offer a better choice of academic and vocational subjects.

Eighteen responses were received during a public consultation.

West Cumbrian MP calls on Government to lower Nuclear Police retirement age

Labour MP for Copeland Jamie Reed has written to the Energy Secretary Amber Rudd to press for Civil Nuclear Constabulary officers to be able to retire at the same age as regular police officers.

The Civil Nuclear Constabulary guards Britain's nuclear sites including Sellafield in west Cumbria.

Jamie Reed speaking in Westminster Hall
UK Parliament

During the most recent reforms of police pensions, the retirement age for police officers was set at 60.

However, Civil Nuclear Police Officers who are overseen by the Department for Energy and Climate Change are set to retire at the state pension age of 65 in line with broader reforms for civil servants.

Ground was broken on a new training facility for the Civil Nuclear Constabulary near Sellafield on Monday.

Haverigg prison legal high drug death 'almost inevitable'

A fatality caused by legal highs such as Spice is "almost inevitable" at a prison in Cumbria, a prison watchdog has warned.

The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) said the use of new psychoactive substances (NPS) at HMP Haverigg was widespread.

Chairman Mick Ross told Mike Zeller at Breakfast on BBC Radio Cumbria  that prisoners were "very inventive" and got drugs into jail "in the most amazing ways".

The Prison Service said it took a "zero tolerance approach to contraband".

It added it worked to "prosecute those involved".

Fraudster 'stole from fund set up to help Cumbrian communities'

Serial conman James Cox has been jailed for six years after stealing £40,000 from Britain's Energy Coast.

Cox had provided a false CV and references to get a job at the Government-funded development agency.

James Cox has stolen over £40,000 from a fund set up to help communities in Cumbria that need it most, he has put jobs and community projects at risk."

Detective Dan St Quintinfrom Cumbria Police

He's urged companies to be diligent when taking on new clients or staff.

He said: "Check CVs, follow up references and report any suspicions quickly.

"Britain’s Energy Coast did this, so we were able to catch Cox." 

Cumbrian town overlooked for flood recovery says business owner

One of Appleby's business owners says that the town is still struggling to recover from the December floods.

Many of the businesses were inundated by floodwaters on The Sands are now open again.

I think Appleby's getting a little bit forgotten really

Jackie KirkpatrickFurniture shop owner

Here's a report from the weekend that Storm Desmond hit the county:  

Flood water submerges street in Appleby, Cumbria

Jackie Kirkpatrick owns the furniture shop Jak and Co and says the town is often overlooked in favour of the Lake District.

"People do think of Cumbria and think of the Lake District," she said.

"I think Appleby's getting a little bit forgotten really.

"So we do need to see more tourists and we also need locals to support us."

Cumbrian sport reporter highly commended at Regional Press Awards

Carlisle United reporter for the Cumberland News and the News and Star Jon Colman has been highly commended in the Weekly Sports Journalist award at the Regional Press Awards.

The ceremony's being held in London now.

View more on twitter

James Cox admitted lying to get job with firm he defrauded

Convicted fraudster James Cox who admitted lying to get a job at an energy firm he then defrauded of more than £40,000 has been jailed for six years.

The 51-year-old forged a signature to fraudulently obtain £40,687 from Cumbria firm Britain's Energy Coast in May last year, which he spent on a Jaguar car, Carlisle Magistrates' Court heard.  

He admitted committing fraud to get the job, obtaining the £40,687 through fraud and four counts of transferring criminal property, which related to his swapping the Jaguar for other cars.  

He had previously been sentenced to two five-year jail terms for fraud offences.  

James Cox
Britain's Energy Coast

BreakingSerial fraudster jailed for six years

Mark McAlindon

BBC Look North

A serial conman who lied his way into a top job with a Cumbrian development agency has been jailed for six years.

James Cox provided a false CV to become finance director at Britain's Energy Coast in Whitehaven and then stole £40,000 to buy luxury cars. 

Today at Carlisle Crown Court, Cox - who has previous convictions for fraud - was jailed for six years. 

Weather: sunshine and passing showers

A few passing showers this afternoon but brighter skies and some sun shine will come from the west. 

Getting cloudy with more rain this evening.

Highs around 16C.

Here's the outlook for Wasdale Head (I'm jealous if you're planning a wander around there) this afternoon, why not check your own local forecast on the BBC Weather website. 

Afternoon forecast for Wasdale Head

Cumbrian newspapers up for awards today

Four of the county's newspapers will find out if they've won awards celebrating the best in local and regional journalism today.

The Westmorland Gazette (weekly newspaper above 20,000),The Cumberland News (weekly newspaper below 20,000) and The News and Star (daily/sunday newspaper below 20,000) are all vying to be best newspaper in their category.

The Cumberland News has also received two nominations for Campaign of the Year, one for Supplement of the Year and one for Front Page of the Year for their edition following the floods:

Front page of The Cumberland News
CN Group

The North West Evening Mail is also nominated for Front Page of the Year.

Cumbrian minister in Keswick for Floods Partnership meeting

Cumbrian MP and the floods minister Rory Stewart says that the lessons learned about flooding here in Cumbria will be applied in the rest of the country.

The Conservative MP is taking part in a Cumbria Floods Partnership meeting being held in Keswick to hear from people who were affected in December.

He says that the most senior officials will listen to what people in Cumbria say about the floods.

He said: "They shouldn't ever hold back from challenging us or pushing us because often it's easy for a scientist or a water expert to come up with a plan but it's the locals that really understand what the water did."

Professors hired to attact staff to West Cumbrian hospital

BBC Radio Cumbria

Two professors have been hired to work at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven to make it a more attractive prospect for new doctors who want to train there. 

Hiring high profile staff is one of the objectives of the West, North and East Cumbria Success Regime that has been asked to help improve healthcare services in the county. 

The independent mayor of Copeland Mike Starkie (pictured) thinks many people will be happy to see their arrival.

He said: "This initiative's now really starting to get legs with the appointment of UK renowned professors.

"So I think it's fantastic news. It's not going to solve all the problems of West Cumberland Hospital but it's certainly going to be a big step in the right direction."

Mike Starkie appearing on BBC One's Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria

Visitor numbers up in Lake District village after A591 reopens

Businesses in Hawkshead say visitor numbers have increased significantly since the reopening of the A591 between Grasmere and Keswick, even though the village isn't on the main road itself. 

The A591 collapsed during Storm Desmond in December and was reopened last week.

Only a few properties were flooded during December's storms but the effects were felt on the village according to Maria Whitehead from Hawkshead Relish.

She said: "Road closures and bridges being down and... businesses being closed has had an enormous impact on visitor numbers coming to Hawkshead as whole."

She says that's starting to change now though.

"We've seen coaches coming back, already, there seems to be a greater number of vehicles on the road." 

New path opens around Cumbrian lake

A new path around Derwentwater opens today coinciding with this year's Keswick Mountain Festival

The 10-mile route passes through ancient woodland and along the shores of the lake.

Derwent water

It has been paid for by the Keswick Tourism Association, the National Trust and the Lake District National Park.   

The Derwentwater Walk will be officially opened by TV presenter and festival speaker Julia Bradbury later this morning.   


Prison Service responds to drug death fears at Cumbrian prison

The Prison Service says it has got a "zero tolerance approach" to contraband in its prisons including HMP Haverigg in South Cumbria.

It's after the Haverigg Independent Monitoring Board said in its annual report that a death caused by drug abuse was "almost inevitable" despite hard work by prison staff to tackle drug abuse.

A Prison Service spokesman said: "We take a zero tolerance approach to contraband in our prisons and work closely with the police and Crown Prosecution Service to prosecute those involved.

"We have already legislated to make smuggling new psychoactive substances into prison illegal and those caught trying to throw packages over prison walls can now face up to two years in jail.

"However we must do more, which is why we are investing £1.3bn to transform the prison estate, to better support rehabilitation and tackle bullying, violence and drugs."

Cumbrian netballer explains why the sport took over her life

BBC Sport

Carlisle's Helen Housby plays professionally for the England Netball and Superleague side Manchester Thunder as Goal Attack and Goal Shooter. 

She's been telling BBC Sport why she chose netball:

Helen Housby on why she chose netball

Drug death 'almost inevitable' at Cumbria's only jail say prison monitors

A death caused by drug abuse is "almost inevitable" according to the group of independent volunteers who monitor Haverigg prison.

Haverigg's Independent Monitoring Board says that despite the efforts of prison staff, there is still widespread drug abuse among prisoners.

The board's annual report says that the synthetic cannabis substitute and legal high Spice is a particular problem in common with other UK prisons. 

The drug has been known to cause psychotic episodes, heart attacks and seizures.

The monitors are concerned that serious side effects of drug use combined with pressure on the ambulance service in rural Cumbria could lead to the death of an inmate. 

HMP Haverigg

Sentencing today for serial fraudster who stole 40k from Cumbrian employer

Adam Powell

Journalist, BBC Radio Cumbria

A serial fraudster who admitted stealing £40,000 from Cumbrian development agency Britain's Energy Coast will be sentenced later today. 

James Cox worked as the agency's finance director for six months from March 2015. 

During that time, he forged cheques to buy and sell a number of luxury cars. 

Cox has twice been jailed over the last 16 years after being convicted of frauds totaling more than £3m.

I'll be reporting following his appearance at Carlisle Crown Court later today.

James Cox

Cumbrian guitar maker gets honour this morning

A man who has made guitars for Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney will be made a Member of the British Empire this morning for services to guitar making and music. 

It was announced in the New Year's Honours that Roger Bucknall was receiving the honour.

He makes all of his instruments by hand at his factory in Penrith. 

Roger Bucknall
Mike English

Weather: Fells Forecast

BBC Weather

The Fells Forecast for the daylight hours: 

  • Temperatures at 3,000ft: About 5C. 
  • Winds: Fresh or strong southwesterly, gusts 40mph. 
  • Cloud: Patchy cloud at 1,600ft (500m), lifting above the fells in the afternoon, but increasing again during the evening. 
  • Visibility: Generally good, falling moderate in showers or rain and very poor in hill fog. 
  • Freezing level: Above the fells.

Mental health patients having to travel further for a bed

BBC Radio Cumbria

There has been a 13% increase in mental health patients having to travel outside their immediate area to find a bed, according to figures obtained by BBC News

In January, an NHS trust in Lancashire was forced to declare a major incident because of bed shortages. 

Here in Cumbria, a campaign has started this week to prevent the closure of the Kentmere inpatient unit at Kendal's Westmorland General Hospital

Health bosses said they had run out of options to bring the mental health unit up to required national standards and that the unit would permanently close by the end of June.

Weather: Fog clears to leave sunshine and showers

BBC Weather

Hill fog and early showers clear bringing brighter skies.

A few showers possible during the afternoon with sunshine but many areas will be dry. 

Highs of around 16C with a moderate southwesterly wind. 

Here's how the morning forecast pans out for Wasdale Head this morning but you can check the detailed weather for your area on the BBC Weather website

Morning forecast for Wasdale Head

Flooded out community shop reopens in South Cumbria

Neil Smith

South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

A popular convenience store in Kendal is reopening today for the first time since it was flooded in December. 

The owners of the Sandylands Spar on the town's Sandylands estate paid for repair work themselves to speed up the reopening. 

The store is in one of the areas of the town hit worst by the effects of Storm Desmond.

The official reopening takes place at 10:00 this morning with Britain's Got Talent finalist Steven Hall cutting the ribbon.

View more on twitter

Travel: No major problems so far

BBC Travel

No issues to let you know about on the county's roads or on the trains this morning.

Expect extra traffic around Durdar Road near Carlisle with a race meeting today at Carlisle Racecourse. Gates open at 12:00 and the last race is at 17:15.

More traffic than usual around in Keswick for the second day of the Mountain Festival. There's a dedicated car park at Braithwaite just off the A66 near Scotgate Caravan Park, with a shuttle bus service.

Brougham Bridge near Penrith, Gowan Old Bridge on the Main Street in Staveley near Kendal and Sprint Bridge near Burneside are all still closed following damage during the December floods. 

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage

Lee Macaulay

Journalist, BBC Cumbria Live


It's a bit damp underfoot this morning where I am, but we've been reassured by the forecast that there'll be sun with just a few showers this morning. 

I'll keep you up to date with all the news, sport, weather and travel for Cumbria today. 

If you've got a story to tell or a picture you'd like to share with us, get in touch with BBC Cumbria Live on Twitter where we are @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or using our Facebook page.