Providing Opportunities

The proposed Centre of Excellence in Glass Manufacturing and Innovation will be home to the world’s first openly accessible, experimental furnace and provides an opportunity to put St Helens back on the map of the worldwide glass industry.

The Purpose of the Glass Futures’ Glass Manufacturing and Innovation Centre of Excellence:

  • To deliver on site industry and government backed R&D projects aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of glass production.
  • To provide a facility for the glass industry and academia to work in collaboration and identify improvements and innovation to the overall processes of making glass (particularly relating to packaging products such as bottle and jars, and architectural products such as windows and doors). The facility will also enable industry to test and trial short commercial runs and support the transition of R&D to commercial applications.
  • To provide on-site training for industry and staff development in a controlled and safe environment and sharing of best practice.
  • To expand and complement the existing visitor base in St Helens for those interested in the past, present and future of the glass industry.

Take a look here at what Glass Futures’ Centre of Excellence has to offer:

“A state-of-the-art facility to research and develop innovative solutions for the global glass industry.”

– Richard Katz, Glass Futures’ Chief Executive

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These are computer generated images for the purpose of general illustration only.

Scheme Summary:

  • 6.5 acre brownfield site accessed from the existing roundabout at Langtree Way and off the St Helens Linkway.
  • 158,000 sq.ft Glass Manufacturing and Innovation Centre ( B2 planning Use Class) to be delivered over 3 storeys.
  • The facility will provide manufacturing space and the first experimental furnace of its kind in the world, with office and laboratory space at upper floors dedicated to the testing and research of glass and the glass making process.
  • Maximum building height of 25m with a chimney stack to the south of the site which will extend to a maximum height of 65m.
  • Associated service yards, 118 car parking spaces and landscaping to embed the scheme into the existing environment.
  • A separate package of enabling works, including remediation of the wider undeveloped site and construction of an access road into the facility.
  • A planning application for the Glass Futures’ Centre of Excellence will be submitted in late December. Subject to the granting of planning permission the project is expected to start on site in April 2021 and the construction works will complete December 2022.

The Benefits:

  • The redevelopment of a former glass works site into a unique global R&D centre for the glass industry in St Helens that will strengthen the Borough’s reputation globally for innovation in glass production and help secure further inward investment to the area.
  • Glass Futures will create 40 direct new employment opportunities within the Centre over the first five year of its operations, many of which will be recruited as the development is being built.
  • Glass Futures’ main works contractor will support c100 jobs during the construction phase and roles throughout the supply chain once operational.
  • Glass Futures will offer direct work placement training and apprenticeship opportunities at the Centre encourage the next generation of glass experts and workers.
  • Glass Futures projects will bring together universities, government and industry to collaborate on innovations which will enhance the reuse, quality and application of glass throughout our daily lives.
  • Glass Futures partners will drive sustainability and support efforts to achieve a net zero carbon economy by helping reduce the carbon and other emissions associated with glass making and by improving the environmental performance of glass in buildings and in glass consumer products.
The Proposal and Site Mock-Up

These are computer generated images for the purpose of general illustration only.

We would welcome any feedback on the scheme and plans prior to the submission.