Knauf is planning to boost production at its St Helens site. Credit: Google Earth

Knauf to buy former Pilks site as part of £45m expansion 

The St Helens-based insulation manufacturer has agreed a deal in principle to acquire the 180,000 sq ft Pilkington Architectural site from NSG Group to facilitate an increase in the plant’s capacity. 

The Pilkington Architectural site on Borough Road covers around 17 acres and is located close to Knauf Insulation’s St Helens office.

Acquiring the site will allow Knauf to create additional warehouse and storage space, boosting its logistics operation.

The acquisition is part of Knauf’s plan to invest more than £40m to increase the plant’s total capacity by 30,000 tonnes a year by early 2024. 

Knauf makes loft, roof and wall insulation for the housing industry. 

Changing legislation around energy efficiency in connection with the Future Homes Standard is one of the main drivers behind the investment, as is the push for more sustainable materials. 

As a result of the investment, Knauf expects to see a 20% improvement in the embodied carbon of products supplied from its St Helens plant. 

“These investments support the anticipated growth in demand driven by the Future Homes Standard and improved energy efficiency in new buildings as well as from more renovation of existing buildings,” said Neil Hargreaves, managing director of Knauf Insulation Northern Europe. 

“These developments are critical as we step up our efforts to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, climate change and energy security.”  

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