BLACK Country campaigners and international glass fans have joined forces to help strengthen efforts to save a world famous Kingswinford glass museum from the axe.

Together they have now set up a national group to preserve and enhance the glass collection and archives based at closure-threatened Broadfield House Glass Museum.

The as yet untitled group was formed following a meeting held at top London art venue the Victoria &Albert museum on February 25, chaired by renowned architect Brent Richards, who designed Broadfield’s pioneering glass pavilion.

Antiques Roadshow stalwart Eric Knowles is among the high-profile glass experts throwing his weight behind the group - which unites the Contemporary Glass Society, The Association for The History of Glass, The Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers, The Glass Association, the National Museums Association, the Arts Council, and a host of glass dealers and collectors in the fight to save Broadfield.

Following the meeting - hosted by Reino Liefkes (senior curator ceramics and glass collection at the V&A) - the campaigners have now pledged to try and raise funds from within their ranks to help safeguard the Broadfield collection.

Campaigner Jan Hendry, of the Kingswinford based Save Our Glass Heritage campaign, said: “This is a big step forward and we’re excited this national group has been formed and we can only progress from here - the council will have to listen to a national group. We want to celebrate glass in this are and promote it properly.”

Stephen Pollock-Hill, president of British Glass 2010 and curator of 20th Century British Glass Museum, said: “"Twice in recent years has the Stourbridge area seen two marvellous glass collections split up and lost from the area.

“The Thomas Webb Museum of Dennis Hall was sold off to American museums and collectors in the mid 1980s by Coloroll, before they went into liquidation, and the wonderful Georgian building turned into flats.

“And the Royal Brierley glass collection was split up and sold, with only a few pieces going to Broadfield House in the late 1990s.

“This group is determined to prevent a third such event happening to an area that has been the centre of the finest British glassware since Paul Tysack from Lorraine set up the first glasshouse in the area at Kingswinford in 1612, nearly four hundred years ago.”

Members of the newly-formed national steering group say they aim to work with Dudley Council to achieve their goal of protecting Broadfield and they are planning to hold another meeting towards the end of March.

Meanwhile - Save Our Glass Heritage is staging a concert at Kingswinford Methodist Church, Stream Road, Kingswinford, this Saturday (March 6) to mark their year-long efforts to help save Broadfield House.

Black Country artists Amy Stew, David Gregory and Alun Davies and the Singing for Pleasure Choir will be singing at the event - which starts at 7.30pm.

Irish singer/songwriter Colm Sands will also be travelling from Ireland to perform his specially-penned song The Glassmaker’s Hand.

Tickets for the event cost £5 for adults and £2 for children. Admission is free for the under fives.