Pilkington Glass To Expand

Glass manufacturer Pilkington wants to expand its European Technical Centre at Lathom - a move which would bring 100 jobs to the West Lancashire site.

The company has written to the district council for planning permission to expand the Lathom site, which is close to Ormskirk.

If the expansion went ahead 100 jobs would be moved from Pilkington’s base at St Helens to the West Lancashire location, and the district’s economy would be given a boost.

Pilkington’s European Technical Centre has 450 employees, and is mostly used for research and development by the company.

A spokesman for Pilkington, said: "We have put an application into West Lancashire District Council for preliminary planning consent. We want to extend our buildings at Lathom. The plan is to make the most efficient use of the space at Lathom, which is the European Technical Centre for Pilkington.

"We want to transfer 100 positions from our home at Alexandra Park in St Helens to West Lancashire by the end of 2008. The staff will come from various different departments at Alexandra Park.

"Lathom is an important aspect of the business, and already has 450 employees. There is room for expansion at the West Lancashire location."

Pilkington was acquired by the NSG group of Japan last year. The company was founded in 1826, and William Pilkington was one of the original shareholders, and was joined by his brother Richard.

Pilkington is a leader in the global Flat Glass industry, and the combined annual sales of NSG/Pilkington is approximately £4 billion, with operations in 26 countries.

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