Wales’ largest glass processing plant creates 27 jobs with funding from the Welsh Government and Finance Wales
The opening of Wales’ largest glass processing plant at Swansea
docks is providing a major jobs boost in the area thanks to £1.9
million investment package from the Welsh Government, Finance Wales
and a consortium of private investors.
Established in 2011 in Llandarcy, Glass Tech
Recycling (Glass Tech) has used the funding package to relocate to
a bigger site at King’s Dock in Swansea as part of its development
plans, creating an additional 27 jobs.
The new plant includes a state-of-the-art
glass processing unit which will enable the company to convert
glass into high-value glass cullet which it can sell to
manufacturers as a cost-effective raw material.
Managing Director Karen John believes the
investment will help Glass Tech take advantage of the growing
demand for recycled glass. “Moving to a larger site has enabled us
to install the equipment we need to target lucrative new markets
and we now have Wales’ only reprocessing unit capable of making
pure glass cullet. By being based in King’s Dock we can easily
export our product to manufacturers overseas as well as to the
“The glass cullet market is central to our
long-term growth and the funding package from Finance Wales, Welsh
Government and private investors has allowed us to build it into
our business model. We’re forecasting strong growth in the
coming year and hope to open a second site in 2016,” she
A support package of £320,000 from the Welsh
Government’s Economic Growth Fund partly funded Glass Tech’s
expansion. Welcoming the news, Economy Minister Edwina Hart said:
“I am delighted that Welsh Government funding has supported Glass
Tech’s expansion plans, enabling it to increase its capacity and
capability and securing its long-term viability.
“Working in one of our key sectors, Glass
Tech’s investment in the latest technology will ensure it retains a
competitive edge, enabling it to access new and expanding markets
in the UK and overseas while also supporting Welsh Government
Finance Wales Portfolio Executive, Nicola Griffiths helped to
structure a £500,000 equity and mezzanine package for Glass Tech.
She said: “Karen is an experienced director with a strong vision
for the company, which has already expanded significantly over the
last 4 years. I’m pleased we’ve been able to join forces with the
Welsh Government and other investors to help fund this exciting
move for Glass Tech.
“In addition to providing a significant local jobs boost, the
new Swansea plant has drastically increased Glass Tech’s scale and
capacity. It’s also cemented its position as a UK leader in
glass processing, putting it on an even stronger footing for the
Commenting on behalf of the consortium of private investors,
businessman Michael Shirley said: “We’re thrilled to be investing
again alongside the Welsh Government and Finance Wales to back
Glass Tech’s impressive expansion plans. The vision of the
management team maps out a bright future for the company and we’re
excited to be part of its journey. This is an example of a Welsh
business with a global vision.”
Having started out providing customers in South Wales with
specialist glass recycling services, Glass Tech then expanded into
the South West of England. Today the company offers customers
a brokerage service, arranging the collection, sale and purchase of
materials such as steel, aluminium and plastics.
Glass cullet is an increasingly popular raw
material used by manufacturers because it can reduce energy costs
during the manufacturing process.
It is estimated over 357,000 tonnes of glass
were reprocessed in the UK last year, with an average of up to 8
jobs created from every 1,000 tonnes of glass recycled.