Main Associations in St.Helens - Liverpool City Region
St.Helens borough has had some major associations throughout the years, from its heavy reliance on
the coal mining industry throughout the 18th and 20th centuries,
to its glass making industries that still employ locally today.
The borough as a whole owes much of its growth to the Industrial Revolution, which saw
the area develop exponentially during that period.
Between 1629 and 1839 St.Helens town grew from a small collection of houses surrounding an old chapel,
to a significant urban centre for trade and industry.
One of the first industries was the cotton and linen industry, which was based on small-scale home-based initiatives used mainly for sail making. The linen weaving trade lasted right up until the mid-19th century, when other established trades fell by the wayside, such as salt production and brewing.
The Greenall family were a well known brewery in St.Helens during the mid-18th century, building a brewery in the Hardshaw area of the town in 1762. Various members of the Greenall family continued in the area under numerous guises for many years, before eventually relocating to the nearby town of Warrington.
Thomas Beecham, founder of the pharmaceutical company 'Beechams', and grandfather of the famous conductor 'Thomas Beecham', started as a travelling salesman selling herbal remedies. His first product was a laxative in 1842, continued success enabled him to open a shop in Wigan five years later. The need for the rapid production of medicines led to the opening of his first factory at St.Helens in 1859. Further expansions saw the business grow into a well-known and respected company over the next 150 years, buying out Lucozade, Macleans, Ribena and Brylcreem. The Beechams brand name is still going strong in the UK today, even though it is now owned by the world renowned multinational pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. Beecham's Clock Tower, built in 1877 still stands as a relic of the bygone business in St.Helens, albeit as an administrative centre for St.Helens College.
Indeed as the years have passed, many industries in the region have evolved or moved on. As certain businesses have departed, leaving unused delapitated space to regenerate. New firms have established themselves to fill the void, growing to be big players in the United Kingdom.
Few epitomise this more than the Langtree Group, they're a property development and investment business that specialise in regenerating brownfield sites, promoting the sustainable development agenda. The home of the mighty St.Helens RFC is a great example of this. Built on the old 46-acre former UGB Glass plant, the 18,000 seater Langtree Park Stadium is the envy of many clubs the world over.
One name that has lasted the test of time in the town is Pilkington. The large 'Pilkington Brothers' works was founded in 1826, it dominates the town's industrial quarter and still produces all the UK's output of flat glass. Their distinctive blue Head Office constructed in 1963 is now a Grade II listed building.
As the borough regenerates itself for the future, its past is not forgotten. As the administrative town's motto reads: 'From the Ground, Light'. It will carry on rebuilding and reshaping itself for a future that is certainly looking bright.
Some of the other associations with St.Helens include; St.Helens College, St.Helens Chamber of Commerce, St.Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, St.Helens Trolleybus and Transport Society, St.Helens Star Newspaper, The Rainford Trust and the Liverpool City Region LEP.
St.Helens Council has predominantly been a Labour controlled council since its first election, except for a period between 2004 and 2010 when no party had a majority. Its administrative headquarters are based in the borough's largest town of St.Helens.
|The Metropolitan Borough of St.Helens was formed||1974|
|Partnered with four local authorities to form Merseyside||1974|
|Joined five other local authorities to form the Liverpool City Region||2009|
Now called 'Pilkington Group Limited', Pilkington Glass has been a major employer for St.Helens since it was founded by two local prominent families in the 19th century. Today, it's owned by Japanese company 'NSG' and is a multinational glass manufacturing company.
|'St Helens Crown Glass Company' founded by the Pilkington & Greenall families||1826|
|Renamed to the 'Pilkington Brothers' following the Greenall family leaving||1845|
|Incorporated under the new name of 'Pilkington Brothers Limited'||1894|
|Invented a revolutionary method of high quality flat glass production||1953|
|Began expanding to Argentina, Australia, Canada, Germany, Sweden and USA||1960|
|The Grade 2 listed World Headquarters in Prescot Road was completed||1964|
|The public company was floated on the London Stock Exchange||1970|
|Fought off a takeover bid from the large conglomerate group 'BTR Industries'||1986|
|Succumbed to a takeover by Japanese company 'NSG'||2006|
'Helena Housing' was created in 2002 with a mandate to invest £270 million in improving local homes by 2009. The charitable company works at the heart of communities, providing homes, creating opportunities and helping people be the best they can.
|Created following the transfer of 14,400 from St Helens Council||2002|
|Became 'Helena Partnerships' providing additional support services||2008|
The Mersey Forest
The Mersey Forest is a growing network of woodlands and green spaces across St.Helens, Knowsley, Sefton, Halton, Liverpool, Warrington and North Cheshire. They focus on tree planting programmes to improve the local environment, wildlife and the economy.
|Created as one of the 12 areas of England to improve the local environment||1990|
|Started work on creating a vibrant Bold Forest Park in St.Helens||1991|
|Began the Green Streets Programme planting 1,000s of trees in urban areas||2008|
|Joined the Big Tree Plant aimed at planting one million trees nationwide||2011|
The Langtree Group
The Langtree Group are a successful property development and investment business acknowledged for its presence in property regeneration. Their development portfolio extends across the country covering 75 sites and totalling over 1,735 acres.
|Founded by the current chairman and owner Bill Ainscough||1982|
|Earned the naming rights to St.Helens RFC's new stadium 'Langtree Park'||2011|
|Completed the world-class 18,000 seater stadium for St.Helens RFC||2012|