New group to support region's glass fims

A new group is being established to fly the flag for the West Midlands' glass industry. Glass West Midlands is supported by Advantage West Midlands and will represent the 130 companies across the region that are involved in the design and manufacture of glass.

The sector is focused around the Black Country and Birmingham and forms part of the high value added consumer products cluster, one of twelve AWM initiatives.

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The steering group, chaired by Dudley businessman Charles Hanmer, will aim to provide a forum for the next generation of glass makers and designers.

AWM is already funding a number of projects to encourage skills development in creative industries and helped to back the refurbishment of the Wordsley Red House Glass Cone.

This facility includes workspace for upandcoming designers, many of whom have graduated at Dudley College's International Glass Centre.

Mike Barton, cluster manager, said: " The present glass industry in the region consists of a large number of smaller companies involved in producing high-quality goods.

"The West Midlands' heritage in glass making is something we are proud of and students come from all over the world to study in the region.

"What is important is that we keep them here once they have qualified."

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