Planning permission for the world-first, industry-leading Glass Futures project in St Helens has been granted.
At its meeting last night, the council’s planning committee approved the £54 million glass production, research and innovation facility that will be built on a brownfield site next to the Totally Wicked Stadium.
The new 160,000 sq. ft Centre of Excellence will be used to deliver industry and government backed research and development projects aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of glass production, and also provide a platform for industry to test and trial their own commercial ideas and short production runs, both collaboratively and individually.
Labour Councillor David Baines, Leader of St Helens Borough Council, said: “Our borough has been synonymous with glass production for hundreds of years and has witnessed many world firsts in the industry. St Helens is the right place for a facility like Glass Futures to make its home and continue our legacy for innovation. We have been focused on working with our partners to deliver this project and now we are delighted that the plans are approved and we will soon see this derelict site close to the town centre be brought to life with these world-class facilities.
“As the Liverpool Combined Authority City Region’s lead for Climate Emergency and Renewable Energy it is projects like this that will help us to put our borough, and region, ahead of others as a place that is committed to tackling climate change and growing back greener . As we look to rebuild the economy our focus is on making businesses sustainable, both financially and environmentally, and Glass Futures meets both these ideals. Now we look forward to seeing what additional and direct opportunities a development like this can bring to our communities.”
Labour Councillor Richard McCauley, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning at St Helens Borough Council, added: “We are delighted that the ground-breaking development Glass Futures is now set to become a reality in the heart of St Helens Borough. Taking this scheme from concept through planning and on to site in less than two years demonstrates the focus the council and partners have on delivery, I am proud of the role that the Council is playing in bringing forward this project. I am sure this will be the first of many exciting and ambitious schemes that will be coming forward in St Helens over the coming months.”
Work will start on site in July this year and will be completed in 2022.