A £150 million future for Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire was unveiled last week by trade and industry secretary Stephen Byers.
Mr Byers announced support for a package of measures for Northwest science including £150 million for the proposed Centre for Accelerator Science and Imaging and Medicine (Casim) led by Daresbury. This would include a £50 million fourth-generation light source (4GLS), the next step from the Diamond synchrotron project, which the government decided to build at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire rather than at Daresbury.
The 4GLS will combine low-energy synchrotron radiation and intense pulses from free electron laser sources, allowing scientists to watch reactions such as protein folding in real time.
A £100 million proton cyclotron would also be built. Nuclear physicists would use the cyclotron to research cosmic rays. X-ray imaging will be done at sub-critical levels for cancer. The Office of Science and Technology said money would come from the science budget and the National Health Service.
Peter Weightman, chairman of the Casim team, said: "The Casim project will create a world-leading scientific establishment and will be unique in the UK in providing a bridge between the national science base and the NHS."