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Top glass designer snubbed by council
A TOP glass designer has hit out at Dudley Council for snubbing her letters pledging support for closure-threatened Broadfield House.
During last August’s International Festival of Glass - the council went all out to promote renowned artist Diana Dias Leao’s dazzling and ultimately award-winning glass dresses exhibition at the Kingswinford museum.
But since proposals to close Broadfield and move the glass collection to Wordsley’s Red House Glass Cone emerged - Diana says she has been ignored by the council.
She says she wrote to former culture chief Cllr Karen Shakespeare and urban environment director John Miller outlining her support for the world famous tourist attraction - but never received a reply from either.
London-based Diana, whose ‘Danger of the Image’ display at the council-run museum was voted best exhibition on a small budget at the recent Renaissance West Midlands Awards, spoke exclusively to the News about the importance of saving the famed facility.
She said: “The council appear to be paying no attention to the world’s response to the threatened closure of Broadfield House.
“This museum is loved by people all over the world - drawing them as paying tourists into the area.
“Broadfield House Glass Museum is a vital asset to the world of glass and to the people of the Black Country.
“It not only preserves the tradition of Black Country glass - bringing to life the history - but also looks to the future by promoting new glass artists.
“I was given the wonderful opportunity to hold my first one woman exhibition of glass dresses at the museum.
“The glass history of this wonderful area must be preserved as a total collection and not split up in different areas or squashed in unsuitable conditions just to save money.”
Meanwhile Dudley Council has appointed independent consultants L&R Consulting to look into the feasibility of moving Stourbridge’s glass collection from Broadfield House Glass Museum in Kingswnford to Wordsley’s Red House Glass Cone.
Stage one of a two-part study will look at the potential to develop a celebration of glass and quality visitor experience at the cone - and should be completed by the end of July/early August.
Then, depending on the outcome of stage one, preliminary plans for a new visitor attraction will be drawn up - with the final conclusions and recommendations due to be published at the end of October/early November.
Kingswinford councillor Dave Tyler, however, has called for a special meeting of Brierley Hill Area Committee to be held as soon as possible - to enable glass enthusiasts and members of the public to air their views on the plans before stage one of the study is wrapped up.
A council spokeswoman said: “There will be a special area committee to discuss the feasibility study; we’re looking at dates at the moment.”
She said groups such as The Friends of Broadfield House, the Glass Circle and the Glass Assocation would all be consulted during the first part of the study.
And she added that the council had “responded to all people” who wrote in with concerns about the future of Broadfield.