Plans approved for £54m glass research and innovation facility in UK
May 28, 2021 – The St Helens Borough Council has granted planned consent for the £54m global glass research and innovation facility at Saints Retail Park in the UK.
The new facility, named Global Centre of Excellence, will be constructed on a brownfield site adjacent to the Totally Wicked Stadium.
The new 160,000ft2 facility will host industry and government backed research and development projects focused on reducing the carbon footprint of glass production.
It will also provide place for companies to test and trial their own commercial ideas as well as short production runs.
The developer and landowner Network Space has prepared and submitted the planning application on behalf of Glass Futures.
Glass Futures stated that the project will be led by Network Space on behalf of a collaboration between Glass Futures, Network Space, St Helens MBC, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
Additionally, construction company Bowmer + Kirkland has been appointed after an open procurement process through the North West Construction Hub to construct the new facility.
Construction work on the Global Centre of Excellence is expected to commence in July this year with completion planned in December 2022.
The project is expected to create approximately 80 permanent jobs.
Network Space development director Catherine Chilvers said: “The consent is another major milestone in transforming the former United Glassworks site into a global hub for research whilst once more positioning St Helens at the forefront of glass innovation and sustainable glass manufacturing.
“Our team and the partnership that we have formed has worked tirelessly in bringing the concept to life and converting it into a deliverable scheme. We hope to announce further progress in the coming months.”