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Cannington Shaw Town Deal project moves forward

The plans for a key Town Deal development reflecting the heritage of St Helens Borough's glass industry have taken a step closer to delivery.

Cannington Shaw land handover

Article date: 16 June 2023

The Cannington No 7 Bottle Shop is a rich piece of our past and the regeneration and repurposing of the building has taken a major step forward with ownership of the site being transferred to the Cannington Shaw Preservation Trust. Opened in 1886, No: 7 Bottle Shop was one of the world's first regenerative furnaces for continuous glass bottle production and is all that now remains of what was once the largest glass bottle production facilities in the world - Cannington Shaw. The site would become known as United Glass Bottles and laterally United Glass, before eventually closing in the late 1990s.

The project is one of several which will receive funding from the St Helens Town Deal Board, which succeeded in securing £25 million for St Helens from the Governments Towns Fund initiative, one of the largest awards given to a Labour controlled local authority. The Town Deal Board is made up of businesses, members of the community, Council members and St Helens' Members of Parliament to help drive the vision and strategy for the town. They drew up a Town Investment Plan which marks out Cannington Shaw as one of the projects to improve the wider St Helens town centre area including the regeneration of the town centre, improving digital infrastructure, better active and public transport connections and much more.

John Tabern, Chair of the Cannington Shaw Preservation Trust, said: "The transfer of the No: 7 Bottle Shop to the Cannington Shaw Preservation Trust is a significant step in the forward momentum of this project. Combined with the award from the Towns Fund, this gives the Trust credibility in its endeavours to procure the further funding for the onward development and future sustainability of the site. When it opened in 1886 it was revolutionary and at the cutting edge of developing technology, we at the Trust hope to return the Bottle Shop to that status, with ambitious plans which will require hard work from those involved. The Team at the Cannington Shaw Preservation Trust are up to the challenge."  

Councillor Richard McCauley, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing, said: "We're delighted to see the plans for this historic St Helens site taking shape with this move a positive step forward to helping us retain a sense of our heritage while shaping a prosperous future for the borough at the same time. We look forward to seeing the project progress and deliver on our aims to transform our borough through the Town Deal Fund. Cannington is a very important part of the new and emerging research, innovation and manufacturing hub surrounding the new Glass Futures facility."