A pioneering project that aims to revolutionise glass production is set to receive a £9 million funding boost.

Glass Futures is a national centre of excellence for glass innovation which will be based in St Helens, UK, and aims to, ultimately, eliminate CO2 from glass production.

The scheme will bring together glass manufacturers, researchers and industry experts, such as British Glass, Encirc, O-I, Guardian Glass, Siemens and TECO.

It took a step closer to fruition on Friday when the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and St Helens Borough Council agreed £9 million of funding towards the project.

If delivered, the £54 million project will have the first and only experimental furnace of its kind in the world with provision for research and development trials to decarbonise the UK glass industry.

St Helens Borough Council has already agreed to provide up to £900,000 support to help to develop the idea from a concept to a reality. .

St Helens Borough Council Leader David Baines, said: “St Helens is a borough with a proud industrial heritage. We have a magnificent legacy of industrial innovation, especially in the glass industry.

"While we are proud of our history, Glass Futures is all about innovation and looking to the future, and we want our borough to be at the very heart of this exciting project.

“St Helens Borough Council is committed to helping to make it happen and this latest funding decision from the City Region will be very welcome. The Glass Futures project will put St Helens on the regional, national and international stage.

“So I fully endorse this plan’s asks of Government to give us the tools at a local level to help people with programmes of support to get people and our economy back on their feet stronger than before.”

The site in St Helens could create around 50 high skilled jobs directly, with hundreds of indirect jobs in total and will kick-start investment into the area.

A public consultation on Glass Futures is expected to launch later this year before a planning application is submitted in early 2021.