Steelwork complete at Glass Futures
Contractor Bowmer + Kirkland has reached the landmark as work remains on schedule at St Helens’ £54m industry centre of excellence.
B+K, which started on site in January, said that the next phase of the scheme is already underway with cladding and external elevations expected to be completed on the 165,000 sq. ft facility by the end of the summer.
The construction firm expects its work on Glass Futures to complete in January 2023, ready for fit-out.
The facility has been pre-let to St Helens Borough Council on a 15-year head lease and will be sub-let to Glass Futures which will occupy and manage the building to deliver industry and government-backed research and development projects focused on decarbonising glass production.
Glass Futures will also provide a platform for the industry to access an experimental scale furnace to test and run trials for implementation at commercial scale on a state-of-the-art line, both collaboratively and individually.
Delivery of the project was conceived and is being managed by landowner and developer Network Space, on behalf of a partnership including not-for-profit research organisation Glass Futures, St Helens Council, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and UK Research & Innovation.
The architect is Aew, and the project manager and QS Walker Sime.
Network Space will continue to manage the delivery of the project through to practical completion. In a deal announced in December 2021, the building was presold by NSD to global investor Standard Life Investments Property Income Trust, part of Abrdn, to secure forward funding and conclude a viable delivery strategy.
Catherine Chilvers, development director at Network Space, said: “We’re delighted with the progress so far on site with a completion date of January 2023 still very much in our sights.
“The outline structure of the facility is now visible and symbolises the scale and ambition of both St Helens Council and the Glass Futures project to bring significant investment and skilled jobs back into St Helens and the wider Liverpool City Region economy.
David Baker, B+K project manager, said: “We’re making significant progress on site with the steel frame now completed and roofing works commenced. The B+K team is proud to be part of this iconic build for St Helens and its future role in glass manufacturing and development in the area.”