A multi-million-pound world class visitor attraction to showcase the borough’s glassmaking history and its renowned glass collection is one step closer.

Plans to begin transferring Dudley Council’s internationally important collection to the purpose-built facility on the former White House Glass Cone site in Wordsley are underway.

The collection will be loaned to the British Glass Foundation on a 125-year lease and they will run the new museum, which will be opposite the council’s historic Red House Glass Cone.

The museum will involve the sensitive restoration of the former Stuart Glass Works by Complex Developments, where the remains of the White House Glass Cone, classed as an ancient monument, will be preserved. There will also be space for new business start-ups and 18 residential units.

The new museum will feature the borough’s glass as well as attract travelling glass exhibitions and specialist events. It will also allow the collection to be displayed in a more accessible, visitor friendly way.

Cataloguing and preparing the delicate pieces for the move is expected to take up to nine months. During this time they will not be available to view, although many of the pieces can be seen online.

Broadfield House will be closing its doors to the public at the end of September 2015 so that the collection is ready for installation at the new museum in autumn 2016.

The building element of the project is being funded by a £2.13m European grant and the proceeds of the sale of Broadfield House will be part of the council’s contribution.

Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, cabinet member for planning and economic development, said:

“This new museum will not only act to preserve a historic building but will also make a great addition to the borough’s tourism and cultural offer by showing off our glass collection in a purpose built facility which will be fully accessible.”

“We are delighted to have received the offer of European funding as without this, the new museum project would not have happened.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Complex Developments and the British Glass Foundation to make this project a reality and we will continue to work closely with the BGF once they take over the running of the museum.”

Graham Knowles, chairman of the British Glass Foundation, said

“We are delighted to have received the offer of ERDF funding for a brand new glass museum on the former Stuart Crystal factory site, which will eventually house the borough’s stunning glass collection.

“With its long history of glassmaking and being opposite the Red House Cone this site is the perfect location for the new museum.  We have been working very closely with the developer, Complex Development Projects Limited and Dudley Council over the last few years to make this happen and we are pleased that European money is coming into Dudley which will benefit the local community and boost tourism in the area.”