With the announcement of the U.K. new nuclear build and the requirement to decommission old facilities, researchers require bespoke facilities to undertake experiments to inform decision making. This paper describes development of The University of Manchester’s Dalton Cumbrian Facility, a custom built research environment which incorporates a 5 MV tandem ion accelerator as well as a self-shielded 60Co irradiator. The ion accelerator allows the investigation into the radiolytic consequences of various charged particles, including protons, alpha particles and a variety of heavier (metal and nonmetal) ions, while the 60Co irradiator allows the effects of gamma radiation to be studied. Some examples of work carried out at the facility are presented to demonstrate how this equipment can improve our mechanistic understanding of various aspects of the deleterious effects of radiation in the nuclear industry. These examples include applications in waste storage and reprocessing as well as geological storage and novel surveying techniques. The outlook for future research is also discussed.