Glass excellence centre to open this summer

Glass Futures’ 165,000ft² Global Centre of Glass Excellence is set to open this summer. Construction of the £54m research centre in St Helens, near Liverpool, has now been completed.

What’s more, glass company leaders have committed to reducing carbon emissions by supporting Glass Futures, which is a not-for-profit venture, as strategic members. The initiative was founded by representatives of Encirc, Guardian Glass, O-I Glass and Siemens thanks to an idea suggested by Dave Dalton, CEO of British Glass.

“Not only have we attracted funding for significant carbon emission reduction research trials using alternative fuels, we’ve successfully built our new centre,” explained Aston Fuller, general manager of Glass Futures. “The dream is now a reality.

“As we look towards officially opening the building in the summer, with our 30-tonne-per-day furnace and pilot line firing within the next 12 months, it’s only the beginning.”

To mark the next phase of Glass Futures, leaders of the organisation have introduced a new level of strategic membership as well as updating the organisation’s membership structure. Membership is to now operate on a credit-based system which is set to guarantee members access to facilities at the pilot plant on an annual basis.

“We have a varied and supportive membership including many companies across the supply chain who have helped us get this far,” Aston added. “As a not-for-profit organisation serving the energy intensive industries, our value is in our research and development into sustainable, low-carbon glass to support our members.

“Strategic membership not only gives existing and new members more credits to carry out trials on our experimental furnace but also greater influence over collaborative project trials, with the potential to massively benefit organisations whose own strategic aims are led by reducing carbon emissions and environmental commitments to shareholders and customers.”

Planning for the Glass Futures building began in 2021. Read our report on the start of the project, here.

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