Stourbridge Glasshouse awarded £1.8m lottery grant

Image caption, The crystal glass factory dates back to 1691

A former Black Country crystal glass factory is to be renovated after it was given £1.8m by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The money will go towards the £3.6m redevelopment of the Glasshouse in Stourbridge, which is the site of the former Royal Doulton factory.

The Wollaston Road site now houses the Glasshouse College, the Ruskin Glass Centre and the Glasshouse Arts Centre.

Crystal glass has been made at the site since the 17th Century.

Glasshouse College said its plans, which include a visitor centre and workshops, would offer "great opportunities to work with the local community".

Young people

The Ruskin Mill Educational Trust (RMET) bought the buildings from Royal Doulton in 2000.

RMET specialises in working with children and young people with learning and behavioural difficulties.

The Glasshouse said it hoped the lottery grant would help it to increase visitor numbers from 13,000 to 25,000 a year by 2015.

It said this would also help to regenerate the local economy.

Ian Clements, director of the Glasshouse Development Project, said: "Without HLF's support, it's hard to see how this would have been possible."

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