Ruskin Glass Centre
Ruskin Glass Centre
Since Glasshouse College was opened by Ruskin Mill Trust in 2000, on the site of the former Royal Doulton factory in the glassmaking district of Stroubridge, there have been plans to redevelop the site; these finally got underway in February 2010 with the start of Phase 1, the refurbishment of the Ruskin Glass Centre.
In 2003, following extensive consultation, Aonghus Gordon and Janine Christley launched RECAST - Regenerating Education and Community through Art, Science and Technology - with significant community and political support.This led to the launch of the Glasshouse Development Project, a multi million pound, multi partner scheme to comprehensively refurbish and revitalise the whole site. The overall aspiration of the Project has always been to redevelop the site and buildings to create a world class facility that embraces culture, enterprise, education and heritage.
The Ruskin Glass Centre re-opened in August 2010 following its full refurbishment thanks to generous funding of 1.54 million pounds from Advantage West Midlands.Work started in February and was completed on budget and only a week late, just in time for the 4th International Festival of Glass which occupied large parts of the Glasshouse site.
Ruskin Glass Centre is now home to a wide array of glass crafts; from live glassblowing, respected studio glass artists, engravers, glass decorators, and glass repair specialists to the diverse yet complementary trades of furniture design, handmade soap, textiles, photography, printing and publishing. As part of the inter-relationship between education and commerce, students from Glasshouse College are able to receive valuable work experience with the on-site businesses in this strikingly transformed environment.
As well as workshops for start-up businesses and some managed workspace, the centre has a newly opened Ruskin Glass Centre cafe. This is open daily, serving an exciting and affordable menu of breakfast, snacks and hot lunch dishes, using locally sourced organice produce.