PLANS to create a new £36m plant at Pilks’ Cowley Hill Works have been given unanimous approval.
Town Hall chiefs were delighted to give Pilkington PLC’s proposal to build a new online coating facility the green light - saying that it would both create and safeguard jobs.
The glass giant’s huge investment - helped by a £5m grant from the government’s regional development fund - will create 50 skilled posts and protect existing jobs, as well as allowing the company to expand its apprenticeship scheme.
Pilks, now part of the NSG Group, also received the go-ahead from St Helens Council’s planning committee to demolish several structures within the 56-hectare site.
The Cowley Hill Works site, located between City Road, College Street and Washway Lane, currently contains a number of large dated industrial buildings, tall chimneys and derelict land.
The new coating line will become operational in October 2012 and will enable the company to provide customers with high performance, low emissivity glazing products - complementing its well established Pilkington K Glass and solar control glass.
Manufacturing these ranges locally - they are currently produced in Sweden and Germany - will cut carbon emissions and save shipping costs.
Councillor Andy Bowden, St Helens Council’s cabinet member for urban regeneration and housing, said: “This is a huge vote of confidence for St Helens from a major international corporation.
“Council officers have worked closely with the company to ensure the successful delivery of this investment, which strengthens the long term future of float glass production in St Helens.
“It also underpins the City Region’s low carbon strategy.”