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Battle begins to save Kingswinford museum
10:10am Thursday 22nd January 2009 in Search
BATTLE lines are being drawn in the fight to save Kingswinford's world famous glass museum from council closure.
Outrage about plan’s to shut the Broadfield House site has united campaigners across the political divide, who say the tourist attraction must remain open.
Dudley South’s Labour MP, Ian Pearson, threw his support behind the campaign to stop closure of the centre and moving its collection to Wordsley's Red House Glass Cone.
Mr Pearson said: "Closing Broadfield House and moving its collection would do considerable damage to the borough's deserved reputation as an internationally important centre for the study and appreciation of glass.
"The Red House Cone is a fantastic site, but so is Broadfield House.
"I will be putting all the pressure I can on the council to reconsider this ill-conceived budget cut."
Kingswinford South Tory councillor David Blood also vowed to oppose the closure plan, which the council's cabinet has already approved as part of this year's budget proposals to save borough museums £120,000 a year.
Cllr Blood told Dudley Council's select committee on regeneration, culture and adult education "there would be uproar at even the thought of the closure" of the Compton Drive museum - which houses one of the finest glass archives in the country.
He added: "To move Broadfield House's collection to Stuart Crystal would be a major calamity.
"I don't think my residents would ever forgive me if I went along with it."
Dudley Council looks set to approve the closure on March 2, two days before the next select committee meeting to discuss the plan.
The Friends of Broadfield House met with council officials on Tuesday January 20 to call for a delay in the closure, planned for March 2010, while a new centre to house the collection is built.
Barbara Beadman, chairman of the Friends group, said: “They seem to have lost the plot in terms of our glass heritage.
“I don’t think the decision should be made, It would be a travesty if it is.
“Councillors havn’t been informed, if they do go ahead they should immediately have a meeting to make amendments.”
A council spokesman said: "As outlined in the select committee agenda, it is proposed that feasibility work will be undertaken on the practicalities of transferring the services and collections provided at the Broadfield House Glass Museum to the Red House Glass Cone site.
"At its meeting on March 4 and future meetings, the select committee will receive progress updates and monitor the feasibility process."