THE campaign to create a world class glass museum has taken another step in the right direction with the appointment of a new museum director.

Ollie Buckley, from Kinver, has taken on the new role to run the White House Cone Museum of Glass in Camp Hill.

The British Glass Foundation has been progressing plans to create a top class attraction to showcase Stourbridge's world famous glass collection and the skills of the area's talented glassmakers past and present.

It has been a labour of love for the BGF - since Dudley Council closed the world renowned Broadfield House Glass Museum in Kingswinford, which previously housed the prestigious glass collection, in 2015.

Work to build the new museum was completed in June 2016 and it has hosted a number of pop up events since but the venture will not officially open to the public until it has been kitted out with all the necessary internal fixtures and fittings.

Earlier this year the project as awarded £980,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to complete the long-awaited internal fit out and the museum was on track to open in July 2021 but the coronavirus crisis has pushed the opening date back to spring 2022.

It has also forced the cancellation of a planned Christmas craft fair and bauble decorating workshop.

The BGF trustees have, however, now been able to confirm the appointment of Mr Buckley as museum director.

With more than 25 years' experience in the museum industry and having worked for the last 17 years at Birmingham Museum Trust, Mr Buckley has a track record of delivering capital and revenue projects and has expertise in interpretation, community engagement and art commissioning and the care, conservation and development of museum heritage sites, as well as experience of working with designers and volunteers.

He was part of the team who launched the lottery-funded New Art Gallery Walsall to critical acclaim, together with recent major installations at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Soho House and the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter.

Graham Knowles, chairman of The British Glass Foundation, said: "The interviewing panel were unanimous in their decision to appoint Ollie and I am sure he will do a fantastic job."

Mr Buckley, who officially started his new role on September 1, said he was "delighted to have been chosen as the founding museum director.

He told the News: "I am greatly impressed by the dedication, passion and sheer hard work of the British Glass Foundation and their funders in creating a sound foundation onto which we will create a new museum with world-class displays of Dudley’s exceptional glass collection.

"My vision is to match high-quality, interactive exhibitions with the ambition to create a national model of accessibility to historic and contemporary glass through community engagement projects, glassblowing workshops and demonstrations, events and exhibitions.

"And after the Covid 19 crisis, what better time to help create a thriving community in Stourbridge by promoting the area's rich glassmaking heritage in a museum which acts as a source of pride, boosts community cohesion, wellbeing and the local tourist economy.”

The internal fit out of the museum will get underway once the design team has been selected through a tendering process which has just got underway.

Glass fans wishing to be kept up-to-speed with developments can email to sign up to receive the BGF's GlassCuts publication or people can keep an eye on website