Work commences for Glass Futures project
Working on behalf of main contractor Bowmer + Kirkland, Caunton Engineering has started the steel erection programme for the Glass Futures scheme in St Helens.
The 15,300m2 transformational global glass research and innovation facility is expected to complete in January 2023, ready for internal fit-out.
Network Space Developments (NSD) appointed Bower + Kirkland to deliver the building at Saints Retail Park, occupying a site with links to the historic glass industry for which the town is famed.
Delivery of the project was conceived and is being managed by landowner and developer NSD, on behalf of a partnership including not-for-profit research organisation Glass Futures, St Helens Borough Council, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and UKRI (UK Research & Innovation).
Glass Futures will occupy and manage the building to deliver industry and government-backed research and development projects focused on decarbonising glass production. It 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.
St Helens Borough Council Leader, David Baines, said: “Over the next year, the glass research and innovation facility will be built on the brownfield site of the former United Glassworks, with a focus on decarbonising glass production.
“It will once again put St Helens at the forefront of glass innovation and help us play a significant role in the Green Industrial Revolution, leading the way for other industries to cut their carbon emissions. “The fact that work has begun only two years since the scheme was conceived is testament to some exceptional partnership working, and I’d like to thank Glass Futures and everyone involved for their efforts in getting us to this stage.”