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Smethwick’s Chance Glassworks’ lighthouse past to be celebrated

A derelict factory that once employed 3,500 people and helped to create 2,000 lighthouses around the world, could be brought back to life.A £25m regeneration project would see the former Chance Glassworks in Smethwick, in the Black Country, become an urban village, with 150 new homes, business space and a heritage centre.The Chance Heritage Trust…

A derelict factory that once employed 3,500 people and helped to create 2,000 lighthouses around the world, could be brought back to life.

A £25m regeneration project would see the former Chance Glassworks in Smethwick, in the Black Country, become an urban village, with 150 new homes, business space and a heritage centre.

The Chance Heritage Trust is launching a share option scheme on Saturday at Smethwick Library.

The factory was closed for the last time in 1981 by ex-chief engineer Ray Drury, who said: “I drove me car out, I shut the gate behind me and throwed the key in the canal.”

“Ever since the buildings have remained derelict and are fast decaying,” said Mark Davies, chairman of Chance Heritage Trust.

“We need to find a solution, as it is such a waste of one of the West Midlands’ most historic sites.”

Video journalist: John Bray

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