St Helens - Glass Futures' proposed Centre of Excellence

A public consultation has been launched regarding the proposed plans for a £54million glass research facility in St Helens adjacent to the St Helens Linkway and St Helens RFC’s Totally Wicked Stadium.

The proposed 158,000 sq. ft Glass Futures’ Centre of Excellence in Glass Manufacturing and Innovation will be a new state-of-the-art global research and development facility and the world’s first openly accessible test and trial furnace operation. The facility will be used to deliver industry and government backed R&D projects aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of glass production and will provide a platform for industry to test and trial short commercial runs.

Network Space has launched a public consultation inviting local businesses and residents to view the site proposals online at There are details of the planned Centre of Excellence, as well as the economic benefits it would bring to St Helens and the wider region. Comments can be submitted via the website, or in writing to: Glass Futures’ Centre of Excellence Consultation c/o Spawforths, J41 Business Court, East Ardsley. WF3 2AB. Any comments need to be submitted by December 14, 2020.

Catherine Chilvers, Development Director at Network Space, said: “This is a chance for members of the public and local businesses to have a look at the plans for this major regeneration project for St Helens on the former United Glassworks site. We would welcome any feedback on the scheme prior to the submission of a planning application, which we hope to submit in the next few weeks.”


She added: “Network Space has a long history with this site, having previously delivered the Totally Wicked Stadium and Tesco development. We hope that the local community will be excited about the Glass Futures’ scheme and the opportunities it can bring to the area.”

The new facility will be occupied by Glass Futures Ltd, an established not for profit organisation. Glass Futures has recently secured support from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) towards the specialist fit out of the facility. The project presents a major regeneration and economic development opportunity for the St Helens Borough and wider Liverpool City Region and will deliver substantial inward investment, positive economic growth and job opportunities for the local area.

Operating across the Northern Powerhouse region, Network Space is a commercial property developer, investor and manager specialising in the industrial warehouse sector. Founded in 1982, Network Space has created and modernised over 10 million sq. ft of industrial warehouse property in over 150 locations. The company’s vision is to provide the best and most complete industrial workspace solution for all of its stakeholder partners, whether they are a tenant, investor or government body. Their secured land bank could deliver 2.5 million sq. ft of new industrial property with a value of over £200m over the next five years.

Network Space Developments recently won the “Developer of the Year” Award in the Business Insider’s Liverpool City Region Property Awards 2020.