This is what I wrote to the BBC link, and a copy to David Blood, and the local paper.
"For many years the best glass museum in the country, Broadfield House Glass Museum, has needed a larger site in order to display its collections and those that are own loan to it. For various reasons Himley Hall was rejected as an idea by Dudley Council. Now, rather than keeping the status quo, the museum has been targeted as a means of cost cutting for the borough. NO cost benefit analysis has been done, NOR any feasibility study. Instead, it would appear that someone has had the idea that vacating the current premises in favour of moving to smaller premises, could save money. If this happens, not only will it be difficult to maintain current services, it is highly unlikely that the collections will have enough space to be stored in, let alone be displayed.
Last year, visitor numbers went up from 11,000 to 15,000, totally bucking the trend in museums across the country. It would seem that no account of this has been taken. Importantly, in the current economic climate, where it would seem that many more people are proposing to holiday in this country, no account or thought appears to have been given toward gaining important revenue to help the income of the counsellorsâ€™ own electors. Even the idea of selling the Broadfield House building seems ill thought out, since pretty well the whole country is aware of the downturn in property values.
As for the move itself youâ€™re NOT talking normal move prices like when moving home â€“ expensive though that can be. Moving the collections (particularly of a fragile nature), back-up office space, current storage, and display cases (those that can be moved) all requires specialist operatives. Old display cases may not fit, so new will be required; the same will be true of information boards.
All-in-all one wonders about why counsellors see this as a good move. Well, sacking some of the staff will of course be the soft option if comparing their situation with other council workers and will give an ongoing yearly saving. There may be a gain from the sale of the building, but will it only be marginal? Quite possibly.
Surely, now is NOT the time to move a successful national glass museum? Now should be the time to consolidate on the work of the museum and raise its profile helping to keep, and possibly create, work in the area. This museum is a highly important record to the industry that is indigenous to the area, as well as holding the most comprehensive and diverse collections of British glass in the country. The threat of its move may also threaten the collections that are on permanent loan â€“ presumably loaned originally providing they were out on display. No other museum would seem a likely candidate to hold these collections, so it is likely that we will also be deprived of having access to a large number of exhibits that will no longer be available and are not held elsewhere.
Now should be the time of raising Broadfield House Glass Museumâ€™s profile, not of sweeping it into a corner elsewhere. The council and/or its representatives should look into obtaining extra funding, perhaps by getting Designated Museum Standing which might allow access to national funding.
I have been visiting the museum for about 21 years and see this as a totally retrograde step by the council. Maybe Iâ€™m being cynical, but, itâ€™s easier to go for downsizing than to work for extra funding â€“ itâ€™s certainly easier to plicate other council workers and the electorate by closing or downsizing what might be seen as a luxury by some local counsellors. Perhaps Iâ€™m also being cynical when I ask why, apparently, has nobody checked the floor space involved in each case, surely that is rudimentary to whether the move could be even be feasible?"