Glass Futures will put the Liverpool City Region at the forefront of decarbonising the global glass industry, as outlined last week at COP26 in Glasgow.

The £54 million project will create the world’s first openly accessible test and trial furnace facility, which will be used to deliver industry and government-backed research and development (R&D) projects focused on decarbonising glass production.

It will also provide a platform for the industry to test and trial its own commercial ideas - both collaboratively and individually.

Glass Futures is an industry-backed Research and Technology Organisation (RTO), leading collaboration across some of the largest companies in the global glass industry and its supply chain, together with academia and local and central government.

“With Glass Futures, we have the opportunity to catalyse the rebirth of an industry – that puts the town on the international innovation map once again. This is about reinventing global glass production innovation back in St Helens - in a 21st century setting.”

- Councillor David Baines

The project will be funded through a mix of public and private investment.

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has backed Glass Futures as it aims to become net zero carbon at least decade ahead of national targets.

The project has been awarded a £9m grant from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and secured a £15m UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) grant to support the installation of an experimental furnace and capable of melting 30 tonnes of glass per day. Glass sector companies will also contribute a further £20m in resource, time and equipment to support the project.

St Helens Borough Council will take a head lease of the building to facilitate the development and deliver a green recovery.

“Ranging from new raw materials and novel glass compositions, to alternative fuel sources and furnace designs, to waste heat recovery and carbon capture, Glass Futures will support our aim to become net Zero Carbon by 2040 – a full decade ahead of the rest of the country.”

- Councillor David Baines