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29 - New home for geopark headquarters 

Geopark new headquarters
Councillor Ian Kettle at the new Dudley Museum, home to the geopark headquarters

The new headquarters for the Black Country’s aspiring Global Geopark will be unveiled at this week’s official opening of Dudley Museum.

The new museum, which is in the heart of the tourism hub at Castle Hill alongside the Black Country Living Museum and Dudley Zoo and Castle, will open to the public on Saturday (September 30).

Visitors to the museum will be able to visit a Geopark themed gallery dedicated to telling the story of the Black Country’s geological history and why it’s bidding to become an UNESCO Global Geopark. 

People can find out more about the 45 geosites across the Black Country, which would be part of the Geopark, including Walsall Arboretum, West Park in Wolverhampton, Sandwell Valley and Wren’s Nest National Nature Reserve.

Councillor Ian Kettle, cabinet member for planning and economic development, said:

“We have world class geology across the Black Country, which we are incredibly proud of, and we remain confident in our efforts to be recognised as an UNESCO Global Geopark.

“Our new gallery and headquarters gives us a permanent base so people can come along and find out more about this special project to put the Black Country on the international map.”

The museum will be officially opened by paralympic medallist and multi grand slam winner Jordanne Whiley MBE, at noon.

Ends

Notes to editors

The Black Country local authorities (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton), with the backing of the UNESCO National Commission and the UK other 7 geoparks, submitted an application to become part of the UNESCO Global Geopark family.

Following a visit by UNESCO inspectors in the summer of last year and a presentation to international delegates at a Global Geoparks conference, UNESCO has recognised the Black Country has globally important, world class geological and related cultural heritage and all the attributes to become a Global Geopark.

The UNESCO Global Geoparks Committee (UGGC), which spearheads the global network, has made a number of positive recommendations in order to further strengthen the Black Country’s application has given organisers additional time to implement their recommendations before it goes back to the panel. 

News Release Contact Information

Press office, 01384 815219, pressoffice@dudley.gov.uk