May I post the official version to stop any untrue rumours going round. I have received this in the last hour thanks to Alan Poole of Dan Klein Assocs.
Directorate of the Urban Environment
Culture & Leisure
Claughton House, Blowers Green Road, Dudley, West Midlands
Tel: (01384) 818181 Fax: (01384) 815599 Minicom: (01384) 814686www.dudley.gov.uk
Your Ref: Our Ref: KS/DWL/SAN Please ask for: D W Lowndes Direct Line: 01384 815501
26 January 2009
Thank you for your letter, which I have read with great interest.
I fully appreciate the concerns that you and others have raised regarding the future of the Borough’s Internationally renowned Glass Collections and how they can be preserved and enhanced for future generations.
I would like to firstly explain that we are not shutting the glass museum and attempting to either put the collections in the existing space at Redhouse Cone or into storage, which appears to be a major worry for many people who have contacted me.
The location of Broadfield House is not ideal from the point of view of a visitor attraction. It is not easily accessible to many people who visit the Red House Cone, which is shown, by the number of visitors to each Museum. There are in excess of 20,000 more visitors to the Cone each year, which is one of the reasons why I would like to look at the option of relocating the entire collection to a single site. Clearly, this would have to entail an expansion of the existing Red House site.
I have called for a study on the feasibility of moving the collections and housing them in the Glass Quarter at The Red House Cone.
I appreciate that this will not be a process that can happen overnight and there will be a great deal of work that needs to be completed to ensure that we have covered all bases and understand fully the complexity and cost of what we would like to achieve.
I see this very much as an opportunity to enhance and improve the services provided to visitors and glass enthusiasts, set in the context of how the traditional glass was produced and I want to be certain that this can be achieved before any decisions are taken.
Sadly, armed with only a small amount of information, the press don’t always reflect the full picture of what is trying to be achieved and therefore I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to explain more fully.
It is heartening to know that there are so many people who care passionately about glass and its place in the boroughs heritage and I will do everything possible to ensure that its place is preserved, protected and enhanced.
I will make sure that we retain your contact details and keep you updated of any progress which will also give you the opportunity to be included in the consultation on any fully worked proposals that may come from our study.
Cllr Karen Shakespeare
Halesowen North Ward Councillor
Cabinet Member for the Environment & Culture