Pilkington to shed 150 jobs at sites in St Helens

Posted on 3 Feb 2012

The owner of glass manufacturer Pilkington, Nippon Sheet Glass, announced plans to lay off 150 UK employees by the end of April 2012 today.

Nippon Sheet Glass (NSG), which is in the process of cutting 3,500 jobs worldwide, will close one of its production lines in the UK in a move to cut costs by 20bn yen (£166m). A company spokesperson commented that a global fall in demand for building and automotive glass was one of the main reasons behind the decision.

NSG intends to halt production at its sites in Greengate and the firm’s solar cutting operation in Cowley Hill, where a new £33m glass facility is currently being built.

David Pinder, managing director of Pilkington’s Building UK told the local press that NSG’s decision would not affect the new development at Cowley Hill as the government’s Regional Growth Fund is supporting the construction of the new facility to the sum of £5m.

Pilkington currently employs over 1,000 people in St Helens and around 3,000 people in the UK. Mr Pinder said that redundancies made at the two sites in St Helens would have been a great deal worse if the government had not decided to release funds from the Regional Growth Fund.

An NSG spokesperson said in a statement: “[NSG] has experienced a reduction in many of its core markets, including the European building products market. The global market for solar energy glass has also worsened significantly during the third quarter.”

NSG pointed out that while long-term prospects for the market remain positive, it does not expect to see an early recovery within the next financial year.