Staff at the once beleaguered Daresbury laboratory are celebrating another milestone in securing funding towards a £120 million project that will put the lab at the cutting edge of accelerator science, writes Caroline Davis.
This week, the government announced £11.5 million in funding for preliminary research into building a fourth-generation light source (4GLS) at the Cheshire site.
Three years ago, Daresbury faced closure when the government announced that a new third-generation light source - the Diamond synchrotron - would be sited at the Oxfordshire Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), rather than replace the UK synchrotron source at Daresbury.
But there was also bad news for 4GLS partner project Sirius, with the government saying it would not be funding the programme, which was originally submitted as part of the Casim (Centre for Accelerator Science Imaging and Medicine) proposal.
The 4GLS project will produce very short powerful pulses of light, allowing researchers to watch chemical reactions in real time.
The funding, announced this week through the Office of Science and Technology and the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils, which owns Daresbury and RAL, will support a three-year research-and-development study leading to the construction of a prototype.