STOURBRIDGE’S glass collection “is to Stourbridge what Tutankhamun is to Cairo” according to veteran Antiques Roadshow star Eric Knowles.

The popular BBC ceramics and glass expert - who has been with the Roadshow for 20 years - told the News “the eyes of the world are on what the council is going to be doing” with the famous glass collection based at closure-threatened Broadfield House.

He added: “It is without question the most important glass collection and archives in the country - and it’s second only to the archives at Corning in America.

“The V&A has got quite a lot but that’s nothing in comparison to what we have got here.

“It’s quite fantastic. It is to Stourbridge what Tutankhamun is to Cairo.

“There will be people in California, Toronto and New York keeping an eye on what’s going to be done.

“And what we desperately need is a state-of-the-art museum dedicated to the collection and archives and a living craft centre where the skills can be maintained so there’s not just an epitaph to a once proud industry - but a beacon that shines brightly for the future to represent Stourbridge’s credentials as the foremost glassmaking region in the country.

“Our chief concern is that the collection could be locked away awaiting the necessary funding.

“If there’s inaction there will be as much dust on that Stourbridge glass as on Tutankhamun’s tomb.

“Myself and the people in the auction and antiques world are here to help to try and ensure this is not a pipe dream - this is going to be made a reality.”

He said the collection needs to be given over to a charitable trust, adding: “That happened with Wedgewood and that’s testament to what can be done.”