Glass Futures global centre of excellence makes its home at Magna

 

This week’s announcement that Glass Futures will be based at Magna in Rotherham marks an important milestone in the development of this £20 million centre of excellence in glass, originally conceived of by British Glass.

 

Glass Futures will bring together world experts to carry out research into energy and emissions reduction, glass formulation and new high-tech products. It will also be a centre for glass industry training and skills development.

The original vision that British Glass had is now coming into being as a consortium venture with the backing of two of the world’s largest glass manufacturers as well as Siemens and Leeds University.

Chief executive of British Glass Dave Dalton said:

“The glass industry has amazing potential for growth and, by bringing together academics, manufacturers and technology companies, we can grasp that potential and bring real benefits to the UK economy.

“Achieving those benefits needs the backing and collaboration of significant industry players – and the not-for-profit consortium model that Glass Futures is now operating on has secured that. I look forward to seeing the technical leaps and competitive improvement this facility will enable and I am excited to see it coming to fruition so close to the heartland of glass manufacturing, here in Yorkshire.”

In addition to British Glass, other partners already involved in Glass Futures are Goole-based flat glass manufacturer Guardian Industries; the world’s leading glass bottle manufacturer Owens Illinois; the University of Leeds; Siemens; Swarovski; the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London and Glass Technology Services Ltd.

At the heart of the project will be a furnace producing 30 tonnes of glass per day for windows, bottles and fibre glass – housed in a large, previously unused area at Magna known as the ‘dark space’.

Richard Katz, director of Glass Futures, said:

“We are very excited to be working with the team at Magna, which is the perfect venue for this project, being at the heart of the Advanced Manufacturing Investment District and part of science education.”

John Silker, chief executive of Magna, said:

“This is an incredibly exciting project to be part of. As a former steelworks we are very much at the heart of industry in South Yorkshire and so we are thrilled to host this centre of international importance.”

Dignitaries and representatives of the organisations involved with Glass Futures will gather at Magna on Friday 5 May for an official launch. Among those attending will be Sharon Kemp, chief executive of Rotherham Council.

 

Notes

Magna, which is housed in the former Templeborough steelworks near junction 34 of the M1, is an award-winning visitor attraction, with more than 100 hands-on exhibits designed to explore the four elements of air, water, earth and fire. It also hosts regular school trips and offers space for corporate events. www.visitmagna.co.uk

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On average, every family in
the UK uses around 330 glass
bottles and jars each year.


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