Author Topic: Broadfield House to Close  (Read 123902 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline malwodyn

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 167
Re: Broadfield House NOT to Close
« Reply #410 on: November 27, 2009, 12:18:13 PM »
The original reason put forward for the closure of Broadfield House was the need to save £120 000 per annum in expenditure.  The Sunderland Glass centre receives £700 000 p.a. from the Arts Council - Dudley is going to have to find this sum from its own resources.  This probably means cuts - or at least savings - elsewhere.

Perhaps we should now rename our campaign? Certainly we must refocus it!

"The Glass Centre is a chance to put Sunderland on the map of international excellence in design and making of glass, from artworks to architecture".

Here is what Wikipedia says about the financing....

"Since the centre opened it has failed to meet targets on visitor numbers.[2] Visitor numbers of 100,000 per year were some way short of the target of 250,000 visitors per year.[4][5] The centre receives regular funding from the Arts Council England - including one of £700,000 - prompting a National Audit Office report to judge that it was "over-funded".[2] Despite this, the site continues to receive a quarter of a million pound grant annually by the Arts Council and the City Council[2] and in 2002 was losing £100,000 per year.[4] The problems of low attendance and overly optimistic income generation the Centre experienced have been shared by other lottery funded cultural attractions in the North East such at the Arc Centre in Stockton (which went into liquidation in 2003) and nearby Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art".

We have won the first battle, but the task ahead is immense, but not impossible. We must act while the  sites of the famous Heritage are still visible and 1612- 2012,  400 years of handmaking in the area must be the theme, and we must aim to compete with Ironbridge. In 1998/9 it had 2.5m visitors bringing in £76m!

One of the things that needs to be done is to attract glass artists from across the country to come and set up studios there at attractive rents and rates, in the old sites and strive towards creating a World Heritage site of Glass making.  This is where, inmho, The National Glass Centre did not succeed fully. For instance the old glass making tradition of Hartley Wood Glass Makers, making stained window glass in the original way, that was there, is now in a steel shed in Alvechurch near Redditch, called English Antique Glass!

DBC needs vision, courage and deep pockets, and all the support it can get from glass mad fanatics like us to create a future World Heritage site capable of employing thousands, not hundreds! There is not even a decent hotel in the close vicinity, and the only conference area for the Glass Association AGM was the bonded warehouse alongside a neglected canal!

As a mad glass fanatic I too am willing to do my bit to help to create a World Heritage Site in the Dudley/Stourbridge area - but we are all going to have to keep working if the proposal to close Broadfield House is not to resurface in a few years time when budgets are under strain.

Offline Janet H

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 62
Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #411 on: November 27, 2009, 12:37:58 PM »
We need more people like you to come forward and help us create the International Stourbridge Glass Museum here in the rich glass heritage area of Dudley!

Lets all get behind the idea of having the best glass museum we can all be proud of!

Offline sph@ngw

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 163
Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #412 on: November 27, 2009, 01:09:10 PM »
May I point out that there is little comparaison between The National Glass Centre in Sunderland , and the Dudley possibilities?

1.The Sunderland Centre is a purpose built  modern glass and steel centre, without any 
   industrial heritage buildings connected with glass making! Just legend!

2. It took on Hartley Wood glass, based in Sunderland, about 20 people, of which about
   14 actually made glass, the other six were administrators, of which there were three
   directors all given BMW cars!

3. It is the perfect example of how NOT to design a glass factory. have too many chiefs 
  and not enough Indian braves, do no research into the potential market, start by
  charging £5 a head to view the set up and when visitor numbers fail, allow viewing for

4. Do not attract talented young studio glass makers in, and give them subsidized units in
   return for free viewing and a ready made visitor shop outlet.

5.Do no research into the market and potential for the stained glass you are making.

6. Buy in glass from your competitors to stock out the shop ( Caithness, Dartington,   
    Royal Brierley gifts, etc), thus reducing sales of made on the premises items.

7. Do no research into what people want to buy and provide for the market.

8. Do not encourage a team work ( all pull together) between curators and glass makers.

9. Do not establish a brand with a talented designer allowing you to sell to other retail

10. Sell the ruins of the glass set up to an asset stripper, who has no plans of keeping it
    alive, rather than wait for the right buyer to come along.

11. Does Sunderland have one of the finest glass Museums and artifacts in the world?
      If so I've never seen them!

12. Finally, open the Centre at the height of one the worst recessions in a highly 
    depressed area ( which attracted the EU and local Government grants, of course!).

So now, who is surprised it has virtually failed to achieve its aims ?

Having said that the idea was laudable, and it does play an important educational role and encourage school children to join the industry.....OOOPS
the local industry has  now closed, with Pyrex/ Corning and Arc moving out!

Could Sunderland ever be another Ironbridge? Ship building was the main industry there surely!

But Dudley with its under used canals for sustainable transport and leisure tours could,
if it learns the lessons of Sunderland!

( How do I know so much about it? I was talking this week over lunch with the furnace
  builder who now owns what is left of Hartley Wood, who opened my eyes!)

Offline David Hier

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 129
Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #413 on: December 04, 2009, 12:46:55 PM »
It looks like we haven't heard the last from Dudley Council's feasibility study:
Visit for information on the original National Glass Fair.

Offline malwodyn

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 167
Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #414 on: December 04, 2009, 03:17:37 PM »
It looks like we haven't heard the last from Dudley Council's feasibility study:

It does look as if we were celebrating too soon...  When the bean-counters of Dudley Council thought it was safe, out they came... 

Redevelopment of the Red House Cone site is unlikely to give us sufficient gallery space, even if the former Stuart shop is demolished, and rebuilt as a two storey structure.  Added to that are the existing problems of disabled access, and limited parking - it is difficult to see how any redevelopment of the site can give increased gallery and lecture space.  Now if the old industrial site across the main road were to become available...

Offline flyboy90

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 38
Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #415 on: December 04, 2009, 06:10:21 PM »
Your right David the fight is about to start all over again, the  officers intend to renage on the resolution  "Broadfield will not close until etc" item 22 and possibly be phased!!" is the one to be wary of.I dont trust DMBC THEY ARE NOT LISTENING TO ANYONE nor do they intend to, so much for the smoke screen & L&R. I rest my case for now.

Offline David Hier

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 129
Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #416 on: December 04, 2009, 06:39:31 PM »

I suspect that the meeting is intended to formalise the decision not to close Broadfield House and determine how to refocus the feasibility study.

Let's hope so anyway.

Visit for information on the original National Glass Fair.

Offline nigel benson

  • Author
  • Members
  • ***
  • Posts: 1128
  • Gender: Male
  • British glass 1870-1980
    • British glass 1870-1980
Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #417 on: December 07, 2009, 01:37:29 PM »
                                SAVE BROADFIELD HOUSE GLASS MUSEUM
                                                          YOUR VOICE COUNTS

The council's publicity dept have confirmed that DMBC has bought the Stuart shop site, etc.

To be fair they were all but honour bound to go ahead with the purchase. However, given the recent signs of their wish to go ahead with the RHC project, this seems to confirm their intentions in advance of the vote and the announcement on this Wednesday, 9th December.

The instability of the Cone, along with the proposal that DMBC are going to commission a report on that subject AFTER the vote (for whichever plan) again makes one suspicious.

Old news? But perhaps pertinent given current indications and the council's inability to discuss the way ahead with campaign representatives, culminating in the meeting last week dissolving into a fiasco. It is fair to say that this was largely engineered by council representatives who were apparently intransigent, whilst also championing the RHC site.

I fear the campaign restarts. We have to be centred and aim high. Stephen's comparison with Iron Bridge is apt and by now one would have thought DMBC would have begun to see the merit and the advantages to the locality, but I am afraid they are far too blinkered and unconcerned to care :o

We have to re-stir ourselves and wake up from the slumber we were diverted into by DMBC!!!!

Thanks to all, Nigel

Offline yelooc

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 91
Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #419 on: December 10, 2009, 10:18:32 PM »
We have been slowly cruising towards this for a long time.

Some months ago myself, Andy McConnell and Will Farmer presented a proposal to the consultants at a meeting at BH organised by the Friends, it outlined a fundraising plan to develop an alternative business plan for a more extensive "World Class" museum. The plan needed seed funding by the Friends, GA and GC.

Andy McConnell and Eric Knowles visited Broadfield House Glass Museum on 17th Septemeber and met with Council leader Anne Millward and other Dudley Councillors and represented the plan; to a warm reception.

However, when the Friends, GA and GC were approached (by conference call) to seed fund the alternative plan no money was committed. So, in summary, the campaigne has no money, no business plan and no alternative location.

So, perhaps it is worth restating the very first post in this thread from Jan 10th 2009:

"Dear All,

I am reliably informed that Broadfield House Glass Museum is to close in March 2010. I think that this is a tragedy. In my opinion Broadfield House is a national treasure.

I wonder; what can we do?"




Link to Glass Encyclopedia
Link to Glass Museum
key words
to search