St Helens Glass Futures
The council unanimously approved the plans for Glass Futures

Glass Futures wins planning permission in St Helens

Julia Hatmaker

Developer Network Space is moving forward with its plans for a £54m global glass research and innovation centre at the Saints Retail Park in Peasley Cross.

Breathing new life into the former United Glass production site, construction on the 160,000 sq ft Glass Futures facility begins in July. The work will be led by Bowmer + Kirkland, with a completion date of December 2022.

The scheme includes plans for an experimental furnace that can melt 30 tonnes of glass per day. That furnace could be used in research and development projects devoted to decarbonising glass production.

Funds for the project are coming from a mix of sources, including a £15m UK Research & Innovation grant. A collection of glass sector companies is providing £20m. Liverpool City Region’s “Build Back Better fund is supplying a £9m grant for the scheme.

“Glass Futures has the potential to put our region at the forefront of the Green Industrial Revolution and make us a global leader in new technology,” said Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region. “When complete, this project will help take St Helens’ proud history in glassmaking and bring it into the 21st century, creating lots of local jobs and drastically cutting carbon emissions.”

Once complete, Glass Futures will create 80 new permanent jobs in the region.

AEW is project architect for the scheme, while Tyler Grange is in charge of landscape plans.  Spawforths is the planning consultant. Walker Sime is project manager and QS. Hoare Lee is the sustainability advisor and Rachel Hacking is tackling ecology. Tetra Tech is also involved in the scheme.

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