THE vacant Woolworths unit in Stourbridge town centre could be a suitable alternative site for the area’s glass collection and archives, according to one town artist.

Meriel Harris, vice-chairman of Stourbridge Decorative and Fine Arts Society, told last night’s joint meeting of Brierley Hill and Stourbridge Area Commitees the empty three-storey shop in the Ryemarket could be just the site to accommodate the Stourbridge glass collection - which is currently part based at Broadfield and part stashed away at Himley Hall.

She told the meeting at Wordsley Community Centre: “The Stourbridge one is big enough; it’s there in town and waiting.”

Himley Hall - where much of the borough’s glass collection is in storage - was also suggested as an alternative venue for a world class glass centre.

However - councillor Les Jones said: “Himley Hall has a great deal of value to this borough as it stands - and it’s a very well used facility.

“The council will not be looking at it in this current feasibility study.”

Stourbridge resident Barbara Sykes’ idea to create a purpose-built tourist attraction utilising the canals by the Red House Glass Cone was welcomed - as was a pledge by Friends of Broadfield House chairman Barbara Beadman to rally the glass community to work with the council to help create a “national, international and world standard museum” to put the borough’s history on the map.

Meeting chairman - councillor Patrick Harley - told the audience all relevant suggestions put forward would be noted and considered as part of the feasibility study.

Stourbridge MP Lynda Waltho later told the News: “The meeting showed the love and strength of feeling that local people have for the glass collection and Broadfield House. “And it demonstrated the fear that people have about these council decisions.”