UK: fear for glass heritage as centre closes

The Glass Centre in Stourbridge, central England will close down at the end of April 2005. The centre, which opened in 1995, is renowned for exhibitions and events such as the 2004 International Festi…

The Glass Centre in Stourbridge, central England will close down at the end of April 2005. The centre, which opened in 1995, is renowned for exhibitions and events such as the 2004 International Festival of Glass. It has displayed one of the widest selections of traditional and contemporary glassware in the area in its state-of-the-art studios and its workshops. Centre manager Nigel Simpson lamented the loss of the centre as another blow to the Stourbridge glass industry. “Stourbridge was the largest glassmaking centre in Europe but it has dwindled away and there are only a few small individual companies left,” he said. “It is another bleak day for the glass industry.” Local Councillor Jim Musk added: “I think it is very sad to lose another part of the area“s glass industry … Unfortunately [local manufacturers] cannot compete against cheaper foreign imports”. Councillor Musk said he feared the area“s glass heritage would become a distant memory for people. He said that if things carryied on as they were, a lot of the heritage would be in the history books but the physical remains would gradually disappear, which would be very sad.